Marked stem cell factor expression in the airways of lung transplant recipientsReport as inadecuate

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Respiratory Research

, 7:90

First Online: 16 June 2006Received: 28 June 2005Accepted: 16 June 2006


BackgroundAirways repair is critical to lung function following transplantation. We hypothesised that the stem cell factor SCF could play a role in this setting.

MethodsWe studied 9 lung transplant recipients LTx recipients during their first year postgraft, and evaluated SCF mRNA expression in bronchial biopsy specimens using on-line fluorescent PCR and SCF protein levels in bronchoalveolar lavage BAL and serum using ELISA. The expression of SCF receptor Kit was assessed using immunostaining of paraffin-embedded bronchial sections.

ResultsSCF mRNA was highly expressed during the early postgraft period Month M1-M3 300% increase vs controls: 356 vs 1.2 pg SCF-μg GAPDH cDNA, p < 0.001 and decreased thereafter M4-M12: 187 pg-μg, although remaining at all times 10–100 times higher than in controls. While SCF protein levels in BAL were similar in LTx recipients and in controls, the SCF serum levels were at all times higher in LTx recipients than in controls p < 0.05, with no relationship between these levels and the acute complications of the graft. Finally, Kit was strongly expressed by the mast cells as well as by the bronchial epithelium of LTx recipients.

ConclusionSCF and Kit are expressed in bronchial biopsies from lung transplant recipients irrespective of the clinical status of the graft. A role for these factors in tissue repair following lung transplantation is hypothesised.

AbbreviationsALRAcute Lung Rejection

BALBronchoAlveolar Lavage

BOSBronchiolitis Obliterans Syndrome

LTxLung Transplant

SCFStem Cell Factor

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Author: Carla A Da Silva - Mélanie Adda - Marc Stern - Frédéric de Blay - Nelly Frossard - Dominique Israel-Biet


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