Differential collagen and fibronectin production by Thy 1+ and Thy 1- lung fibroblast subpopulations

S. Derdak, D. P. Penney, P. Keng, M. E. Felch, D. Brown, R. P. Phipps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Pulmonary fibrosis resulting from diverse etiologies is characterized by proliferation of fibroblasts and excessive accumulation of interstitial collagen. Whether fibrosis is associated with selective expansion of fibroblast subpopulations differing in amounts or types of collagens synthesized is unknown. We have previously isolated lines and clones of normal murine lung fibroblasts based on the presence of the Thy 1 surface antigen. These subpopulations differ in morphology, growth characteristics, and display of class II major histocompatibility complex antigens (R. P. Phipps, D. P. Penney, P. Keng, H. Quill, A. Paxhia, S. Derdak, and M. E. Felch. Am. J. Respir. Cell Mol. Biol. 1: 65-74, 1989). We evaluated the amounts and types of collagen and fibronectin synthesized by Thy 1+ (Fib2-T- 3+) and Thy 1- (Fib2-T-4-) lung fibroblast lines and clones. Thy 1+ fibroblast line synthesized two- to threefold more collagen and noncollagen protein than the Thy 1- line. In contrast, both the Thy 1+ and Thy 1- lines synthesized similar amounts of fibronectin. Thy 1+ and Thy 1- lines and clones expressed mRNA for α1(I)- and α1(III)-procollagen and synthesized both types (predominately type I and lesser amounts of type III) of collagen, protein, and mRNA. The fibroblast clones varied significantly in total collagen and fibronectin production, with one Thy 1- clone (D3) synthesizing the largest amount of collagen but relatively little fibronectin. These observations indicate a significant heterogeneity in collagen and fibronectin production by Thy 1+ and Thy 1- lung fibroblast subpopulations and support the hypothesis that selective expansion of functionally distinct fibroblast subsets in vivo, perhaps under the influence of inflammatory cytokines, may play an integral role in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L283-L290
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number2 7-2
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • collagen
  • pulmonary fibrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Differential collagen and fibronectin production by Thy 1+ and Thy 1- lung fibroblast subpopulations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this