Chronic hyperoxia and hamster pulmonary neuroendocrine cell bombesin and calcitonin

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



The Anatomical Record








Bombesin; Calcitonin; Hyperoxia; Pulmonary neuroendocrine cells


Hamsters were exposed to 60% hyperoxia for 1 week, 3 weeks, or 3 months. The exposed animals gradually failed to gain body weight as controls. The pulmonary neuroendocrine (PNE) cell peptides, mammalian bombesin (MB) and immunoreactive calcitonin (iCT), were determined in the lung and the serum. At 1 week and 3 weeks, lung MB was unchanged while the iCT levels were markedly depleted. In contrast, the lung levels of both MB and iCT were significantly elevated at 3 months. Serum levels of MB showed an initial decline at 1 week, which was followed by augmented levels at 3 weeks and at 3 months. In contrast, serum iCT showed considerable depletion at 1 week, and also at 3 weeks, followed by increased levels at 3 months. Thus, chronic exposure to hyperoxia causes profound perturbation of PNE cell peptides. In particular, the early depletion of lung and serum iCT appears to be a unique feature of the response to hyperoxia. The principal difference between the MB and the iCT responses was the lack of an initial depletion of lung MB, and the earlier rise of serum MB to supranormal levels. It seems likely that the early peptide effects of hyperoxia are related to oxygen toxicity upon the PNE cells, while the changes noted at 3 months reflect a hyperplastic accommodation of PNE cells to the prolonged oxygen exposure with resultant increases in MB and iCT. This response is distinctly different from that we have seen previously in hamsters exposed to hyperoxia combined with a nitrosamine, or a nitrosamine alone. © 1993 Wiley‐Liss, Inc. Copyright © 1993 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.