Age-dependent changes of airway and lung parenchyma in C57BL/6J mice

Kewu Huang, Richard Rabold, Brian Schofield, Wayne Mitzner, Clarke G. Tankersley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


In the current study, we hypothesize that senescent-dependent changes between airway and lung parenchymal tissues of C57BL/6J (B6) mice are not synchronized with respect to altered lung mechanics. Furthermore, aging modifications in elastin fiber and collagen content of the airways and lung parenchyma are remodeling events that differ with time. To test these hypotheses, we performed quasi-static pressure-volume (PV) curves and impedance measurements of the respiratory system in 2-, 20-, and 26-mo-old B6 mice. From the PV curves, the lung volume at 30 cmH2O pressure (V30) and respiratory system compliance (Crs) were significantly (P < 0.01) increased between 2 and 20 mo of age, representing about 80-84% of the total increase that occurred between 2 and 26 mo of age. Senescent-dependent changes in tissue damping and tissue elastance were analogous to changes in V30 and Crs; that is, a majority of the parenchymal alterations in the lung mechanics occurred between 2 and 20 mo of age. In contrast, significant decreases in airway resistance (R) occurred between 20 and 26 mo of age; that is, the decrease in R between 2 and 20 mo of age represented only 29% (P > 0.05) of total decrease occurring through 26 mo. Morphometric analysis of the elastic fiber content in lung parenchyma was significantly (P < 0.01) decreased between 2 and 20 mo of age. To the contrary, increased collagen content was significantly delayed until 26 mo of age (P < 0.01, 2 vs. 26 mo). In conclusion, our data demonstrate that senescent-dependent changes in airway and lung tissue mechanics are not synchronized in B6 mice. Moreover, the reduction in elastic fiber content with age is an early lung remodeling event, and the increased collagen content in the lung parenchyma occurs later in senescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-206
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Airway resistance
  • Collagen deposition
  • Elastic fiber content
  • Lung mechanics
  • Senescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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