Conditional overexpression of connective tissue growth factor disrupts postnatal lung development

Shu Wu, Astrid Platteau, Shaoyi Chen, George McNamara, Jeffrey Whitsett, Eduardo Bancalari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) is a member of an emerging family of immediate-early gene products that coordinates complex biological processes during development, differentiation, and tissue repair. Overexpression of CTGF is associated with mechanical ventilation with high tidal volume and oxygen exposure in newborn lungs. However, the role of CTGF in postnatal lung development and remodeling is not well understood. In the present study, a double-transgenic mouse model was generated with doxycycline-inducible overexpression of CTGF in respiratory epithelial cells. Overexpression of CTGF from Postnatal Days 1-14 resulted in thicker alveolar septa and decreased secondary septal formation. This is correlated with increased myofibroblast differentiation and disorganized elastic fiber deposition in alveolar septa. Overexpression of CTGF also decreased alveolar capillary network formation. There were increased a-smooth muscle actin expression and collagen deposition, and dramatic thickening in the peribronchial/peribronchiolar and perivascular regions in the double-transgenic lungs. Furthermore, overexpression of CTGF increased integrin-linked kinase expression, activated its downstream signaling target, Akt, as well as increased mRNA expression of fibronectin. These data demonstrate that overexpression of CTGF disrupts alveologenesis and capillary formation, and induces fibrosis during the critical period of alveolar development. These histologic changes are similar to those observed in lungs of infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)552-563
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Connective tissue growth factor
  • Development
  • Postnatal lung
  • Transgenic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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