Tissue macrophages associated with angiogenesis in chronic airway inflammation in rats

Åke Dahlqvist, Eric Y. Umemoto, James J. Brokaw, Marc Dupuis, Donald M. McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


Angiogenesis is a feature of chronic inflammation produced by Mycoplasma pulmonis infection of the respiratory tract. The mechanism of this angiogencsis is unknown, but cellular growth factors and matrix remodeling proteases produced by inflammatory cells are likely to be involved. The goal of this study was to determine the relationship between changes in the number, shape, and distribution of ED2-immunoreactive macrophages and the development of angiogenesis in the tracheal mucosa of Wistar rats after M. pulmonis infection. In pathogen-free rats, ED2-positive cells were scattered in the airway mucosa (261 ± 42 cells/mm2 of surface, mean ± SE). Most cells were irregularly shaped and had moderate ED2 immunoreactivity. No lymphoid tissue was present. The number of ED2-positive cells increased rapidly after infection, was 120% above baseline at 1 wk, and remained significantly increased throughout the 4-wk study (P < 0.05). Angiogencsis was first detected at 2 wk, and at 3 wk the vessel length density was nearly 8-fold the pathogen-free value. At 3 and 4 wk, focal sites of angiogenesis coincided with discrete clusters of round, strongly immunoreactive ED2-positive cells (1,340 ± 124 cells/mm2) in polyp-like collections of mucosal lymphoid tissue. The close association of distinctive ED2-positive cells with angiogenic blood vessels suggests a relationship between a subset of tissue macrophages and the angiogenesis associated with M. pulmonis infection. The time course of the changes indicates that the initial influx of ED2-positive macrophages precedes the angiogenesis, and the rounding of the cells parallels the growth of new vessels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-247
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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