Fgf10 deficiency is causative for lethality in a mouse model of bronchopulmonary dysplasia

J Pathol. 2017 Jan;241(1):91-103. doi: 10.1002/path.4834. Epub 2016 Nov 26.


Inflammation-induced FGF10 protein deficiency is associated with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), a chronic lung disease of prematurely born infants characterized by arrested alveolar development. So far, experimental evidence for a direct role of FGF10 in lung disease is lacking. Using the hyperoxia-induced neonatal lung injury as a mouse model of BPD, the impact of Fgf10 deficiency in Fgf10+/- versus Fgf10+/+ pups was investigated. In normoxia, no lethality of Fgf10+/+ or Fgf10+/- pups was observed. By contrast, all Fgf10+/- pups died within 8 days of hyperoxic injury, with lethality starting at day 5, whereas Fgf10+/+ pups were all alive. Lungs of pups from the two genotypes were collected on postnatal day 3 following normoxia or hyperoxia exposure for further analysis. In hyperoxia, Fgf10+/- lungs exhibited increased hypoalveolarization. Analysis by FACS of the Fgf10+/- versus control lungs in normoxia revealed a decreased ratio of alveolar epithelial type II (AECII) cells over total Epcam-positive cells. In addition, gene array analysis indicated reduced AECII and increased AECI transcriptome signatures in isolated AECII cells from Fgf10+/- lungs. Such an imbalance in differentiation is also seen in hyperoxia and is associated with reduced mature surfactant protein B and C expression. Attenuation of the activity of Fgfr2b ligands postnatally in the context of hyperoxia also led to increased lethality with decreased surfactant expression. In summary, decreased Fgf10 mRNA levels lead to congenital lung defects, which are compatible with postnatal survival, but which compromise the ability of the lungs to cope with sub-lethal hyperoxic injury. Fgf10 deficiency affects quantitatively and qualitatively the formation of AECII cells. In addition, Fgfr2b ligands are also important for repair after hyperoxia exposure in neonates. Deficient AECII cells could be an additional complication for patients with BPD. Copyright © 2016 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Keywords: AECII; bronchopulmonary dysplasia; differentiation; fibroblast growth factor 10; surfactant.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / etiology
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / genetics
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / metabolism*
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / pathology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 10 / deficiency*
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 10 / genetics
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 10 / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Hyperoxia / complications
  • Hyperoxia / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Pulmonary Surfactants / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 2 / metabolism


  • Fgf10 protein, mouse
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 10
  • Pulmonary Surfactants
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 2