Tenascin-C inactivation impacts lung structure and function beyond lung development
Tenascin-C (TNC) is an extracellular matrix protein expressed at high levels during lung organogenesis. Later, TNC is only transiently de novo expressed to orchestrate tissue repair in pathological situations. We previously showed that TNC inactivation affects lung development and thus evaluated here the implications on lung function in newborn/adult mice. Respiratory function parameters were measured in anesthetized and mechanically ventilated wild-type (WT) and TNC-deficient mice at 5 (P5)
... t mice at 5 (P5) and 90 (P90) days of age under basal conditions, as well as following high tidal volume (HTV) ventilation. At P5, TNC-deficient mice showed an increased static compliance (Cst) and inspiratory capacity (IC) relative to WT at baseline and throughout HTV. At P90, however, Cst and IC were only elevated at baseline. Control non-ventilated newborn and adult TNC-deficient mice showed similar lung morphology, but less alpha smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) around small airways. SMA + cells were decreased by 50% in adult TNC-deficient lungs and collagen layer thickened around small airways. Increased surfactant protein C (SP-C) and altered TGFβ and TLR4 signaling pathways were also detected. Thus, TNC inactivation-related defects during organogenesis led to persisting functional impairment in adulthood. This might be of interest in the context of pulmonary diseases with thickened airway smooth muscle layer or ventilation heterogeneity, like asthma and COPD.