Lung mast cell hyperplasia and fibrosis is induced by bleomycin lung injury. The role of the mast cell in this process of injury and resultant fibrosis is unclear. Mutant mi/mi mice, profoundly mast-cell-deficient, were treated with intraperitoneal bleomycin and demonstrated minimal acute inflammatory and chronic fibrotic responses. Lung histamine values determined at 14 and 42 days after bleomycin injury in mi/mi mice were not increased compared to untreated mi/mi animals. However, lung histamine levels in normal mice demonstrate a 300% increase over controls on Day 14 after bleomycin injury, and then returned to baseline by Day 42. The mi/mi BAL cell recovery at 2 weeks after injury and lung hydroxyproline levels at 4 weeks after injury were not altered from baseline. The normal litter mates, in contrast, demonstrated significant increases compared to controls in both of these parameters (p<0.01, p<0.04). Although the mi/mi mouse is also deficient in basophils, natural killer cells and functional osteoclasts, there is no evidence of lowered pulmonary defense mechanism and neutrophils and alveolar macrophages are present in normal numbers. This investigation supports the hypothesis that the mast cell contributes to bleomycin-induced lung injury and fibrosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)