Sulfation of extracellular matrices modifies responses of alveolar type II cells to fibroblast growth factors

Philip L. Sannes, Jody Khosla, Pi Wan Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The pulmonary alveolar basement membrane (BM) associated with alveolar type II cells has been shown to be significantly less sulfated than that of type I cells. To examine the biological significance of this observation, we measured the incorporation of 5-bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) as an indicator of DNA synthesis in isolated rat type II cells cultured for 72-120 h on substrata that were naturally sulfated, not sulfated, or chemically desulfated in serum-free, hormonally defined media, with and without selected growth factors. The percentage of cells incorporating BrdU was significantly elevated by desulfated chondroitin sulfate in the presence of fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2 or basic FGF) and depressed by heparin in the presence of either FGF-1 or acidic FGF or FGF-2. This depressive effect was lost by removing sulfate from the heparin. Some responses were dependent on the period of time in culture and concentration and molecular weight of the substrata. These observations support the notion that sulfation per se of certain components of BM is a key determinant of type II cell responses to select growth factors that may define patterns of proliferation and differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L688-L697
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number5 15-5
StatePublished - Nov 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • acidic fibroblast growth factor
  • basement membrane
  • basic fibroblast growth factor
  • chondroitin sulfate
  • heparin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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