Expression of S100A8 Correlates with Inflammatory Lung Disease in Congenic Mice Deficient of the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator
Background: Lung disease in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients is dominated by chronic inflammation with an early and inappropriate influx of neutrophils causing airway destruction. Congenic C57BL/6 CF mice develop lung inflammatory disease similar to that of patients. In contrast, lungs of congenic BALB/c CF mice remain unaffected. The basis of the neutrophil influx to the airways of CF patients and C57BL/6 mice, and its precipitating factor(s) (spontaneous or infection induced) remains unclear.
Methods: The lungs of 20-day old congenic C57BL/6 (before any overt signs of inflammation) and BALB/c CF mouse lines maintained in sterile environments were investigated for distinctions in the neutrophil chemokines S100A8 and S100A9 by quantitative RT-PCR and RNA in situ hybridization, that were then correlated to neutrophil numbers.
Results: The lungs of C57BL/6 CF mice had spontaneous and significant elevation of both neutrophil chemokines S100A8 and S100A9 and a corresponding increase in neutrophils, in the absence of detectable pathogens. In contrast, BALB/c CF mouse lungs maintained under identical conditions, had similar elevations of S100A9 expression and resident neutrophil numbers, but diverged in having normal levels of S100A8.
Conclusion: The results indicate early and spontaneous lung inflammation in CF mice, whose progression corresponds to increased expression of both S100A8 and S100A9, but not S100A9 alone. Moreover, since both C57BL/6 and BALB/c CF lungs were maintained under identical conditions and had similar elevations in S100A9 and neutrophils, the higher S100A8 expression in the former (or suppression in latter) is a result of secondary genetic influences rather than environment or differential infection.