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01.12.2017 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery 1/2017

The role of epithelial-mesenchymal transition in the post-lung transplantation bronchiolitis obliterans

Zeitschrift:
Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery > Ausgabe 1/2017
Autoren:
Chong Zhang, Yuequn Niu, Li Yu, Wang Lv, Haichao Xu, Abudumailamu Abuduwufuer, Jinlin Cao, Jian Hu

Abstract

Background

Many patients who receive lung transplantation (LT) operations develop varying degrees of bronchiolitis obliterans (BO) after the surgeries. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is considered to be related to the process of bronchiolitis obliterans. In this study we simulated the pathological process of post-lung transplantation bronchiolitis obliterans, and explored the correlation between BO and EMT of small airway epithelial cells.

Methods

We transplanted the left lungs of F344 rats to Lewis rats by the Tri-cuff anastomosis and established the allogeneic rat left lung orthotopic transplantation model. Cyclosporine and lipopolysaccharide were administrated appropriately after the surgery. The histological structure and the expression levels of the EMT markers was observed with the methods of HE staining, Masson staining and immunohistochemistry. The analysis of enumeration data was performed using Fisher’s Exact test and Spearman’s rank correlation was used for the correlation analysis.

Results

Inflammatory cell infiltration, fibroplasia of bronchiole walls and significant lumen stenosis were found in the pulmonary mesenchyme of the transplanted lungs. The positive expression rate of E-cadherin in the transplanted lungs was 38.50% (5/13), significantly lower than that in the normal lung tissues [87.50% (7/8)] (P < 0.05), while the positive expression rate of Vimentin was 76.92% (10/13) which is significantly higher than that in the normal lung tissues [25.00% (2/8)] (P < 0.05). And a negative correlation existed between the expression levels of E-cadherin and Vimentin (r = −0.750, P < 0.01).

Conclusions

In the disease model we established in this study, we found pathological changes that met BO characteristics happened in the transplanted lungs. Meanwhile, the small airway epithelial cells of transplanted lungs underwent an epithelial-mesenchymal transition, which indicated a role of EMT in the BO airway remodeling.
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