Changes in extracellular matrix and tissue viscoelasticity in bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis: Temporal aspects

Takae Ebihara, Narayanan Venkatesan, Ryoichi Tanaka, Mara S. Ludwig

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65 Citations (Scopus)


Bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis results in changes in tissue mechanical properties due to alterations in the extracellular matrix (ECM). How oscillatory mechanics and changes in the matrix evolve over time has not been addressed. Sprague-Dawley rats were instilled with bleomycin sulfate (BM) (1.5 U) intratracheally; control animals (C) received saline. At 7, 14, and 28 d after BM, parenchymal strips (7 x 2 x 2 mm) were obtained and strips suspended in a Krebs-filled organ bath. One end of the strip was attached to a force (F) transducer and the other to a lever arm that effected sinusoidal length (L) oscillations. Strips were oscillated at varying amplitudes (1, 3, and 10% of resting L) and frequencies (f = 0.3, 1, 3, and 10 Hz) at an operating stress of 2 kPa. Resistance (R) and elastance (E) were estimated by fitting changes in F and L to the equation of motion. Hysteresivity (η) was calculated as η = (R/E) 2πf. Strips were then fixed for morphological study of collagen, elastic fibers, and the small proteoglycans (PGs), biglycan and fibromodulin (FM). R and E were significantly greater and η significantly less in BM versus C strips (p < 0.001). The increase in R and E peaked at 14 d after BM; the decrement in η was maximal at Day 7. Biglycan was increased in BM lung strips at all time points, FM and elastic fibers were increased at 14 and 28 d, and collagen was increased at 28 d only. Hence, changes in mechanics were maximal before collagen content had increased. In addition, we demonstrated a significant correlation between biglycan and all mechanical parameters. These data suggest that changes in PGs may be critical in determining changes in lung tissue viscoelastic behavior in this fibrosis model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1569-1576
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number4 I
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Jan 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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