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Acta histochemica

Proliferation, apoptosis and expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 in human fetal lung.


PMID 25722035

Abstract

Expression pattern of the Ki-67, caspase-3 and matrix metalloproteinases-9 (MMP-9) factors were immunohistochemically analyzed in 48 human fetal lungs from 12 to 40 weeks of gestation. The number of Ki-67 positive cells in the epithelium of canaliculare (88cells/mm(2)) and sacculare stage (93cells/mm(2)) were significantly higher than in the epithelium of pseudoglandular stage (12cells/mm(2)) (p=0.0008 vs. p=0.003). The number of Ki-67 positive cells in the mesenchyme of canaliculare stage (132cells/mm(2)) was significantly higher than in the mesenchyme of pseudoglandular stage (37cells/mm(2)) (p=0.001). The proliferation of mesenchymal cells was higher than the epithelial cells in all developmental stages, especially in the canaliculare stage (p=0.007). Similarly, the number of caspase-3 positive cells in the epithelium of canalicular stage (13cells/mm(2)) was significantly higher than in the epithelium of pseudoglandular stage (6cells/mm(2)) (p=0.002) with peaks in the conductive epithelium of canalicular stage. The number of caspase-3 positive cells in the mesenchyme of canaliculare stage (3cells/mm(2)) was significantly higher than in the mesenchyme of saccular stage (0cells/mm(2)) (p=0.05). There were no caspase-3 positive cells in the mesenchyme of pseudoglandular stage. However, unlike the Ki-67 expression, mesenchymal cells in comparison to epithelial cells express substantially less caspase-3 in all developmental stages. Up to the saccular stage, the expression of MMP-9 in mesenchymal cells showed a linear increase with most pronounced expression in that stage. The number of MMP-9 positive cells in the mesenchyme of canaliculare (20cells/mm(2)) and sacculare (39cells/mm(2)) stage were significantly higher than in the mesenchyme of pseudoglandular stage (12cells/mm(2)) (p=0.04 vs. p=0.004). The first epithelial cells that express MMP-9 were present only at the alveolar stage. Increased proliferation and apoptosis of the mesenchymal cells of canalicular stage is important for formation of definite structures within the stroma of the lung parenchyma. Although apoptosis in the epithelium is not pronounced as proliferation, it is important for thinning of the epithelium and consequent spread of respiratory tract. However in the saccular stage when mesenchyme disappears, MMP-9 expression is more important for primitive alveoli differentiation.