There is a growing realization that COPD, or at least emphysema, involves several processes presenting in aging and cellular senescence. Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) contribute to neovascularization and play an important role in the development of COPD. The gene for p16 Ink4a is a major dominant senescence one. The aim of the present study was to observe changes in lung function, histomorphology of lung tissue, and expression of p16 Ink4a in lung tissue and bone marrow-derived EPCs in emphysematous mice induced by cigarette-smoke extract (CSE), and further to search for a potential candidate agent protecting against emphysema induced by CSE.
An animal emphysema model was induced by intraperitoneal injection of CSE. 5-Aza-2′-deoxycytidine (5-Aza-CdR) was administered to the emphysematous mice. Lung function and histomorphology of lung tissue were measured. The p16 Ink4a protein and mRNA in EPCs and lung tissues were detected using Western blotting and quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction, respectively.
CSE induced emphysema with increased p16 Ink4a expression in lung tissue and bone marrow-derived EPCs. 5-Aza-CdR partly protected against emphysema, especially in the lung-morphology profile, and partly protest against the overexpression of p16 Ink4a in EPCs and lung tissue induced by CSE.