Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 281, Issue 2, pp 305–316

In vivo restitution of airway epithelium

  • Jonas S. Erjefält
  • Ingrid Erjefält
  • Frank Sundler
  • Carl G. A. Persson
Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF00583399

Cite this article as:
Erjefält, J.S., Erjefält, I., Sundler, F. et al. Cell Tissue Res. (1995) 281: 305. doi:10.1007/BF00583399

Abstract

Epithelial shedding occurs in health and, extensively, in inflammatory airway diseases. This study describes deepithelialisation, reepithelialisation and associated events in guinea-pig trachea after shedding-like epithelial denudation in vivo. Mechanical deepithelialisation of an 800-μm wide tracheal zone was carried out using an orotracheal steel probe without bleeding or damage to the basement membrane. Reepithelialisation was studied by scanning- and transmission electron microscopy and light microscopy. Nerve fibres were examined by immunostaining. Cell proliferation was analysed by [3H]-thymidine autoradiography. Immediately after epithelial removal secretory and ciliated (and presumably basal) epithelial cells at the wound margin dedifferentiated, flattened and migrated rapidly (2–3 μm/min) over the denuded basement membrane. Within 8–15 h a new, flattened epithelium covered the entire deepithelialised zone. At 30 h a tight epithelial barrier was established and after 5 days the epithelium was fully redifferentiated. After completed migration an increased mitotic activity occurred in the epithelium and in fibroblasts/smooth muscle beneath the restitution zone. Reinnervating intraepithelial calcitonin gene-related peptide-containing nerve fibres appeared within 30 h. We conclude that (1) reproducible shedding-like denudation, without bleeding or damage to the basement membrane, can be produced in vivo; (2) secretory and ciliated cells participate in reepithelialisation by dedifferentiation and migration; (3) the initial migration is very fast in vivo; (4) shedding-like denudation may cause strong secretory and exudative responses as well as proliferation of epithelium, and fibroblasts/smooth muscle. Rapid restitution of airway epithelium may depend on contributions from the microcirculation and innervation.

Key words

AirwaysEpithelial repairCell migrationCell proliferationReinnervationGuinea-pig

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonas S. Erjefält
    • 1
  • Ingrid Erjefält
    • 2
  • Frank Sundler
    • 1
  • Carl G. A. Persson
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Medical Cell ResearchUniversity of LundLundSweden
  2. 2.Department of PharmacologyAstra-Draco ABLundSweden
  3. 3.Department of Clinical PharmacologyUniversity HospitalLundSweden