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Jornal Brasileiro de Pneumologia
Print version ISSN 1806-3713
ANDRADE, Filipe Moreira de et al. Maternal malnutrition during lactation in Wistar rats: effects on elastic fibers of the extracellular matrix in the trachea of offspring. J. bras. pneumol. [online]. 2012, vol.38, n.5, pp.588-594. ISSN 1806-3713. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1806-37132012000500008.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effects of maternal protein malnutrition during lactation on the elastic fibers in the tracheas of Wistar rat pups. METHODS: At delivery, 12 male pups of two Wistar rat dams were equally divided into two groups: control, in which the dam received water and standard rat chow ad libitum during lactation; and protein-restricted (PR), in which the dam received water ad libitum and an isoenergetic PR diet (8% protein). At 21 days of age, the pups were killed and their tracheas were excised. The elastic fibers were stained with Weigert's resorcin-fuchsin (after oxidation) and evaluated under light microscopy. Morphometric determinations were performed by stereology, with the point-counting method, and expressed as volumetric densities. RESULTS: Elastic fibers, most having a longitudinal distribution, were identified beneath the tracheal mucosa. In addition, well-defined circular layers of elastic fibers were found around the inner and outer surfaces of the cartilaginous ring. There were no differences between the groups regarding the organization and distribution of the elastic fibers. The volumetric density of the elastic fibers of the pups in the control and PR groups was 2.46 ± 0.99% and 3.25 ± 1.13%, respectively (p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: The volumetric density of elastic fibers appears to be greater in rat pups breastfed by dams receiving a PR diet than in those breastfed by dams receiving a normal diet.
Keywords : Trachea [growth and development]; Trachea [anatomy and histology]; Extracellular matrix; Airway remodeling; Malnutrition.