Airway brushing as a new experimental methodology to detect airway gene expression signatures in mouse lung squamous cell carcinoma.

Author(s): Pan J,  Xiong D,  Zhang Q,  Szabo E,  Miller MS,  Lubet RA,  Wang Y,  You M

Journal: Sci Rep

Date: 2018 Jun 11

Major Program(s) or Research Group(s): CADRG, LUACRG

PubMed ID: 29891994

PMC ID: PMC5995924

Abstract: As a consequence of exposure to environmental toxicants, a "field cancerization" effect occurs in the lung, resulting in the development of a field of initiated, but morphologically normal appearing cells within a damaged epithelium containing mutations in oncogene or tumor suppressor genes. Unlike humans, whose airway field of injury associated with lung cancer has long been investigated with airway brushings obtained via bronchoscopy, no methods are available for similar studies in the mouse due to the small size of the murine airways. In this protocol, we describe a detailed method for performing airway brushing from a live mouse, which enables repeated sampling from the same mouse and thus, mimicking the bronchoscopy protocol used in humans. Using this approach in the N-nitroso-tris-chloroethylurea (NTCU)-induced mouse lung squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) model, we isolated airway epithelial cells with intact cell membrane structure and then performed transcriptome sequencing (RNA-Seq). We found activation of the PI3K signaling network to be the most significant in cytologically normal bronchial airway epithelial cells of mice with preneoplastic lung SCC lesions. Prolonged exposure to NTCU also induced activation of NF-kappaB (NFƙB), the downstream pathway of PI3K; this NTCU-induced lung SCC progression can be reversed by blocking the NFƙB pathway.