Quantitative image analysis of lung connective tissue in murine silicosis.
Antonini-JM; Hemenway-DR; Davis-GS
Exp Lung Res 2000 Mar; 26(2):71-88
Pulmonary fibrosis is a disabling consequence of many lung diseases but is difficult to quantify. Lucifer yellow CH fluorescent dye (LY) appears to stain connective tissue matrix macromolecules selectively. Laser scanning confocal microscopy can quantify the intensity of fluorescence and determine the area of fluorescent material. We hypothesized that the abundance of lucifer yellow-stained matrix macromolecules in lung tissue sections could be measured by laser scanning confocal microscopy, would reflect differences between varying degrees of pulmonary fibrosis, and could be compared directly to biochemical measurements of lung collagen. We exposed C57B1/6 and 129 strains of mice by aerosol to cristobalite silica (70 mg/m3, 12 days, 5 hours/day) or sham-air and examined them 2 and 16 weeks after exposure. The area of LY-stained matrix in tissue sections was quantitated by laser scanning confocal microscopy, and total lung collagen was measured biochemically as hydroxyproline (OH-proline). The LY-stained connective tissue matrix appeared as bright linear bands in the alveolar septae, and was increased significantly by image analysis in C57B1/6 and 129 mice with silicosis 16 weeks after exposure. Total lung OH-proline was significantly increased in silica-exposed mice from both stains at both time points. Comparing all 8 groups, there was a significant linear correlation between the average area of connective tissue measured by LY stain and the total OH-proline per lung measured by chemical analysis (r = .72, P = .042). LY staining and confocal microscopy with image analysis offers a rapid technique for quantitative measurements of the extent of pulmonary fibrosis.
Quantitative-analysis; Lung-tissue; Silicosis; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Fibrosis; Respiratory-system-disorders; Lung-disease; Laboratory-animals; Animals; Animal-studies; Collagen-fibrils; Microscopy; Silicates; Silica-dusts
Experimental Lung Research