Glutathione reductase deficiency alters lung development and hyperoxic responses in neonatal mice

Mary E. Robbins*, Hye Youn Cho, Jason M. Hansen, Joseph R. Luchsinger, Morgan L. Locy, Markus Velten, Steven R. Kleeberger, Lynette K. Rogers, Trent E. Tipple

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Cellular antioxidants protect against hyperoxic lung injury. The role of the glutathione (GSH) system in lung development and bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) pathogenesis has not been systematically investigated. The current study utilized GSH reductase-deficient (Gsr-KO) neonatal mice to test the hypothesis that early disruption of the GSH system negatively impacts lung development and hyperoxic responses. Lungs from wild-type (Gsr-WT) and Gsr-KO mice were analyzed for histopathology, developmental markers, redox indices, and transcriptome profiling at different developmental stages following exposure to room air or hyperoxia (85% O2) for up to 14 d. Lungs from Gsr-KO mice exhibited alveolar epithelial dysplasia in the embryonic and neonatal periods with relatively normal lung architecture in adulthood. GSH and its oxidized form (GSSG) were 50–70% lower at E19-PND14 in Gsr-KO lungs than in age-matched Gsr-WT. Differential gene expression between Gsr-WT and Gsr-KO lungs was analyzed at discrete developmental stages. Gsr-KO lungs exhibited downregulated cell cycle and DNA damage checkpoint genes at E19, as well as lung lipid metabolism and surfactant genes at PND5. In addition to abnormal baseline lung morphometry, Gsr-KO mice displayed a blunted response to hyperoxia. Hyperoxia caused a more robust upregulation of the lung thioredoxin system in Gsr-KO compared to Gsr-WT. Gsr-dependent, hyperoxia-responsive genes were highly associated with abnormal cytoskeleton, skeletal-muscular function, and tissue morphology at PND5. Overall, our data in Gsr-KO mice implicate the GSH system as a key regulator of lung development, cellular differentiation, and hyperoxic responses in neonatal mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101797
JournalRedox Biology
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia
  • Embryo
  • Glutathione reductase
  • Hyperoxia
  • Mice
  • Microarray
  • Neonate
  • Thioredoxin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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