Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Prevention of alveolar destruction and airspace enlargement in a mouse model of pulmonary lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM).

Authors: Goncharova, Elena A; Goncharov, Dmitry A; Fehrenbach, Melane; Khavin, Irene; Ducka, Blerina; Hino, Okio; Colby, Thomas V; Merrilees, Mervyn J; Haczku, Angela; Albelda, Steven M; Krymskaya, Vera P

Published In Sci Transl Med, (2012 Oct 3)

Abstract: Pulmonary lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) is a rare genetic disease characterized by neoplastic growth of atypical smooth muscle-like LAM cells, destruction of lung parenchyma, obstruction of lymphatics, and formation of lung cysts, leading to spontaneous pneumothoraces (lung rupture and collapse) and progressive loss of pulmonary function. The disease is caused by mutational inactivation of the tumor suppressor gene tuberous sclerosis complex 1 (TSC1) or TSC2. By injecting TSC2-null cells into nude mice, we have developed a mouse model of LAM that is characterized by multiple random TSC2-null lung lesions, vascular endothelial growth factor-D expression, lymphangiogenesis, destruction of lung parenchyma, and decreased survival, similar to human LAM. The mice show enlargement of alveolar airspaces that is associated with progressive growth of TSC2-null lesions in the lung, up-regulation of proinflammatory cytokines and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) that degrade extracellular matrix, and destruction of elastic fibers. TSC2-null lesions and alveolar destruction were differentially inhibited by the macrolide antibiotic rapamycin (which inhibits TSC2-null lesion growth by a cytostatic mechanism) and a 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitor, simvastatin (which inhibits growth of TSC2-null lesions by a predominantly proapoptotic mechanism). Treatment with simvastatin markedly inhibited MMP-2, MMP-3, and MMP-9 levels in lung and prevented alveolar destruction. The combination of rapamycin and simvastatin prevented both growth of TSC2-null lesions and lung destruction by inhibiting MMP-2, MMP-3, and MMP-9. Our findings demonstrate a mechanistic link between loss of TSC2 and alveolar destruction and suggest that treatment with rapamycin and simvastatin together could benefit patients with LAM by targeting cells with TSC2 dysfunction and preventing airspace enlargement.

PubMed ID: 23035046 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Animals; Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols/therapeutic use; Female; Humans; Lung Neoplasms/drug therapy*; Lymphangioleiomyomatosis/drug therapy*; Matrix Metalloproteinase 2/metabolism; Matrix Metalloproteinase 3/metabolism; Matrix Metalloproteinase 9/metabolism; Mice; Mice, Nude; Simvastatin/therapeutic use; Sirolimus/therapeutic use; Tumor Suppressor Proteins/genetics; Tumor Suppressor Proteins/metabolism; Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor D/genetics; Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor D/metabolism

to Top