Variation in senescent-dependent lung changes in inbred mouse strains

Kewu Huang, Wayne Mitzner, Richard T Rabold, Brian Schofield, Hannah Lee, Shyam Biswal, Clarke Tankersley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous studies from our laboratories showed lung development differences between inbred strains of mice. In the present study, the C57BL/6J (B6) and DBA/2J (D2) strains were examined for senescent-dependent differences with respect to the lung structure and function. Specifically, we hypothesize that senescent changes in lung vary between strains due to identifiable gene expression differences. Quasi-static pressure-volume curves and respiratory impedance measurements were performed on 2- and 20-mo-old B6 and D2 mice. Lung volume at 30 cmH2O (V30) pressure was significantly (P < 0.01) increased with age in both strains, but the increase was proportionally greater in D2 (68%) than in B6 (40%) mice. In addition, decreased elastic recoil pressure at 50% of V30 and a reduction in airway resistance as a function of positive end-expiratory pressure were observed in 20-mo-old D2 mice but not in B6 mice. Morphometric analysis of lung parenchyma showed significant decreases in elastic fiber content with age in both strains, but the collagen content was significantly (P < 0.01) increased with age in D2 but not B6 mice at 20 mo. Furthermore, using quantitative RT-PCR methods, gene expression differences between strains suggested that D2 mice significantly (P < 0.05) downregulated the expressions of elastin (Eln) and procollagen I, III, and VI (Col1a1, Col3a1, and Col6a3) in lung tissue at 20 mo of age. These age-dependent changes were accompanied by an increased gene expression in matrix metalloproteinase 9 (Mmp9) in D2 and an increase in tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase (Timp1 and Timp4) in B6 mice. In conclusion, the results from the present study demonstrate that lung mechanics of both strains show significant age-dependent changes. However, changes in D2 mice are accelerated relative to B6 mice. Moreover, gene expression differences appear to be involved in the strain-specific changes of lung mechanic properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1632-1639
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • Aging
  • C57BL/6J
  • DBA/2J
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Lung mechanics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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