The effect of neonatal hyperoxia on the lung of p21 Waf1/Cip1/Sdi1-deficient mice

Sharon A. McGrath-Morrow, Cecilia Cho, Shawn Soutiere, Wayne Mitzner, Rubin Tuder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Hyperoxia is an important factor in the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia and is associated with growth arrest and impaired alveolar septal development in the neonatal lung. p21Waf1/Cip1/Sdi1 (p21), a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, acts as a checkpoint regulator in the cell cycle during periods of stress and is induced in neonatal lung during hyperoxia exposure. To determine if p21 protects against lung injury during neonatal lung development, we placed newborn p21 knockout (p21-/-) and p21 wild-type (p21+/+) mice in 85-90% O2 for 4 d. We found that newborn p21-/- mice exposed to O2 had decreased survival in hyperoxia compared with p21+/+ mice (P < 0.01). At 2 and 6 wk after exposure to neonatal hyperoxia, p21-/- O2 lung had significantly larger alveoli then p21-/- control lung, as assessed by mean alveolar size and mean linear intercept. Pulmonary function tests at 6 wk demonstrated increased lung volume in both p21-/- and p21+/+ O2 mice consistent with altered lung growth from neonatal exposure to hyperoxia. Antibodies to nitrotyrosine, a marker for oxidative stress revealed that at 2 and 6 wk of age, p21-/- O 2 lung had significantly more oxidative stress than p21-/- and p21+/+ control and p21+/+ O2 lung. We therefore conclude that p21 confers some additional protection to the lung during exposure to neonatal hyperoxia. Furthermore, p21 may be important during recovery from lung injury because it is associated with lower levels of oxidative stress and increased oxidative stress may contribute to alveolar growth abnormalities in the p21-/- O2 lung.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)635-640
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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