Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Protein Is Essential For Lung Development

Date:
May 18, 2001
Source:
Washington University School Of Medicine
Summary:
A recently discovered protein appears essential for lung development. Mice unable to make a protein called fibroblast growth factor 9 (Fgf9) die at birth with underdeveloped lungs, researchers have found. They suggest that Fgf9 controls lung size and shape.

St. Louis, May 17, 2001 — A recently discovered protein appears essential for lung development. Mice unable to make a protein called fibroblast growth factor 9 (Fgf9) die at birth with underdeveloped lungs, researchers have found. They suggest that Fgf9 controls lung size and shape.

"We believe Fgf9 tells the lungs how big to grow," says David M. Ornitz, M.D., Ph.D. "And we suspect it might be involved in some lung diseases ranging from cancer to fibrosis. Blocking Fgf9 may in the future be used to treat those conditions."

Ornitz, professor of molecular biology and pharmacology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, led the study. The first author was Jennifer S. Colvin, Ph.D., a student in the school’s M.D./Ph.D. program. The results, to be published in the June issue of the journal Development, will appear on the journal’s website May 17.

Fibroblast growth factors regulate cell growth and migration and therefore are integral to organ development. Because Fgf9 was discovered only recently its role in development is unclear. The School of Medicine team developed a strain of mice lacking the gene for Fgf9 to determine how the protein’s absence affects organ development.

The mice had one chromosome lacking the gene and a normal partner chromosome. When mated with each other, they had offspring with two normal genes for Fgf9, offspring with one normal and one defective gene, and offspring with two defective genes. The latter were unable to make Fgf9.

Of 138 offspring, nine died at birth with severely underdeveloped lungs. All nine lacked Fgf9. The surviving mice had either one or two copies of the normal gene for Fgf9. Eight embryos lacking Fgf9 were removed from their mothers before birth. At first, seven were breathing and had healthy, pink skin. But within 30 minutes, all seven had difficulty breathing and their skin turned blue. The researchers concluded that mice lacking Fgf9 survive embryonic development but die after birth, when they must get oxygen through their lungs instead of through the placenta. Because these mice appeared to die from pulmonary complications, the researchers investigated the role of Fgf9 in the lungs. They found two main differences between the mice lacking Fgf9 and the healthy animals.

Lungs have a complex series of airways that range from large tubes to small branches. The airways in the mice lacking Fgf9 appeared normal during early embryonic development, when the larger tubes form. But later in development, the tubes failed to branch. Ornitz and colleagues found Fgf9 localized to the surface lining of the lung. They therefore propose that it controls the extent of tissue surrounding the airways and subsequent branch development. Second, the animals’ lungs did not grow large enough to fill the chest cavity. They also were not as sharply contoured as normal lungs. The researchers therefore suggest that Fgf9 controls both lung size and shape.

In normal mice, they found Fgf9 in the visceral pleura of the lung — the tissue that lines the outside of the organ. Together with the tissue that lines the chest cavity, the visceral pleura forms a fluid-filled sac that allows the lungs to expand and contract. "We think Fgf9 might sense the size of the space the lung is allowed to fill and thereby control lung growth," Ornitz says. If so, Fgf9 eventually might be useful for regenerating adult lung tissue. Whereas infants can rebuild sections of lung after damage, adults can’t.

Funding from Monsanto/Searle and the American Heart Association supported this research.

The full-time and volunteer faculty of Washington University School of Medicine are the physicians and surgeons of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient-care institutions in the nation. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC Healthcare.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Washington University School Of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Washington University School Of Medicine. "New Protein Is Essential For Lung Development." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 May 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010518083421.htm>.
Washington University School Of Medicine. (2001, May 18). New Protein Is Essential For Lung Development. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010518083421.htm
Washington University School Of Medicine. "New Protein Is Essential For Lung Development." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010518083421.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Nigerian authorities have shut and quarantined a Lagos hospital where a Liberian man died of the Ebola virus, the first recorded case of the highly-infectious disease in Africa's most populous economy. David Pollard reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Newsy (July 29, 2014) According to a new study, just five minutes of running or jogging a day could add years to your life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Newsy (July 29, 2014) The Ebola outbreak in West Africa poses little threat to Americans, according to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins