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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

FGF-18 is upregulated in the postnatal rat lung and enhances elastogenesis in myofibroblasts.

The fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) are key players in fetal lung development, but little is known about their status in postnatal lung. Here, we investigated the expression pattern of FGF-18 transcripts through the perinatal period and evidenced a sevenfold increase after birth that paralleled changes in elastin expression. In vitro, recombinant human (rh)FGF-18 had a mitogenic activity on day 21 fetal rat lung fibroblasts and stimulated its own expression in the latter, whereas FGF-2 inhibited it. At 50 or 100 ng/ml, rhFGF-18 increased the expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin (alpha-SMA; 2.5-fold), a characteristic marker of myofibroblasts, of tropoelastin (6.5-fold), of lysyl oxidase (2-fold), and of fibulins 1 and 5 (8- and 2.2-fold) in confluent fibroblasts isolated from fetal day 21 lung; similar results were obtained with fibroblasts from day 3 postnatal lungs. Elastin protein expression was also slightly increased in fetal fibroblasts. Lung analysis on day 4 in rat pups that had received rhFGF-18 (3 microg) on days 0 and 1 showed a 1.7-fold increase of tropoelastin transcripts, whereas alpha-SMA transcripts were unchanged. In contrast, rhFGF-2 markedly decreased expression of elastin in vitro and in vivo and of fibulin 5 in vitro. In addition, vitamin A, which is known to enhance alveolar development, elevated FGF-18 and elastin expressions in day 2 lungs, thus advancing the biological increase. We postulate that FGF-18 is involved in postnatal lung development through stimulating myofibroblast proliferation and differentiation.[1]


  1. FGF-18 is upregulated in the postnatal rat lung and enhances elastogenesis in myofibroblasts. Chailley-Heu, B., Boucherat, O., Barlier-Mur, A.M., Bourbon, J.R. Am. J. Physiol. Lung Cell Mol. Physiol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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