Structural and functional longitudinal alterations of the lungs were followed in an emphysema model. Rats were treated with porcine pancreatic elastase (PPE, n=21) or saline (controls, C, n=19). Before the treatment and 3, 10, 21 and 105 days thereafter, absolute lung volumes (FRC, TLC and RV) and tissue mechanical parameters (elastance: H; damping: G) were determined. At 3, 21 and 105 days the lungs were fixed in subgroups of rats. From histological samples the equivalent diameter of airspaces (Dalv), elastin (Mec) and collagen densities were assessed. In the PPE group, FRC and RV were higher from 3 days after treatment compared to controls (p<0.001), while TLC exhibited a delayed increase. H and G decreased in the PPE group throughout the study (p<0.001). Higher Mec (p<0.001) and late-phase inflammation were observed at 105 days. We conclude that during the progression of emphysema, septal failures increase Dalv which decreases H; this reveals a strong structure-function relationship.
- Extracellular matrix
- Lung mechanics
- Orthogonal polarization spectral imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine