Pulmonary cytochrome P-450 monooxygenase system and Clara cell differentiation in rats

C. M. Ji, W. V. Cardoso, A. Gebremichael, R. M. Philpot, A. R. Buckpitt, C. G. Plopper, K. E. Pinkerton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Because a number of studies suggest that the developmental expression of cytochrome P-450s (CYP) in Clara cells is species specific, this study was designed to compare the developmental patterns of the isoform CYP2B and NADPH reductase protein expression and CYP2B activity with the time course of smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER) formation in Clara cells of rat lung. Pulmonary CYP2B activity measured as pentoxyresorufin O-dealkylation in lung homogenates was not detectable before 7 days postnatal age, but was detectable at adult levels at 50 days postnatal age. In Clara cells, CYP2B and NADPH reductase were detected immunohistochemically at 4 days postnatal age and at adult levels at 10 days postnatal age. The volume density of SER in Clara cells of terminal bronchioles measured morphometrically increased significantly with postnatal age. We conclude that in the rat 1) CYP2B and NADPH reductase distribution and CYP2B activity are age dependent; 2) the increase in Clara cell SER precedes the expression of CYP2B protein; 3) cellular appearance of CYP2B protein precedes CYP activity; and 4) SER appearance and P-450 protein expression do not occur uniformly in differentiating Clara cells, even within the same bronchiole.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number3 13-3
StatePublished - 1995


  • immunohistochemistry
  • lung development
  • ultrastructural morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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