Hypoxia-induced mitogenic factor (HIMF), also called FIZZ1 or RELMα, was a newly found cytokine. Hypoxia caused robust HIMF induction in the lung, and HIMF has potent pulmonary vasoconstrictive, proliferative, and angiogenic properties. To investigate the role of HIMF in lung development, we determined its spatial and temporal expression. From embryonic day (E)16 to postnatal day (P)28, HIMF was strongly expressed in the cytoplasm of bronchial epithelial cells, type II cells, endothelial cells, and primitive mesenchymal cells. Treatment with HIMF resulted in a significant reduction of apoptosis in cultured embryonic lung, thus revealing a previously unknown function of HIMF. Because HIMF gene is upregulated by hypoxia and contains a hypoxia-inducible transcription factor (HIF) binding site, we subsequently investigated whether HIMF was coexpressed with HIF-2α or HIF-1α. HIF-1α expression was temporally distinct from HIMF expression. In contrast, HIF-2α was present in endothelial cells, bronchial epithelial cells, and type II cells from E18 to P28. Thus, HIMF and HIF-2α were temporally and spatially coexpressed in the developing lung. These results indicate a role for HIMF in lung development, possibly under the control of HIF-2, and suggest that HIMF regulates apoptosis and may participate in lung alveolarization and maturation.
|Journal||American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology|
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 09.2004|