Background Recent reports on Forkhead box m1 (Foxm1) of the mice provided correlations between this gene and lung maturation. However, there has been no study on human Foxm1 concerned with lung maturation. The purposes of this study are to compare the mRNA expression of SP-A, -B, -C and Foxm1 gene of preterm rabbits to that of mature term ones and to trace the relationship between Foxm1 and lung maturation.
Methods Pregnant New Zealand White rabbits were grouped according to gestational age. The cesarean sections were carried out after the group was divided into two groups of 30~31 days of gestation (Term group) and 26–27 days of gestation (Preterm group). The numbers of fetus rabbits of each group were 18. We compared the expression levels of mRNA of SP-A, -B, -C and Fxom1 by using RT-PCR and real-time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR).
Results When relative ratio of SP-A, -B, and -C mRNA expression level of term group was 1, there were markedly decreased expressions of them in preterm group-0.380, 0.563, and 0.448 respectively in order in qRT-PCR. On the contrary to these results, Foxm1 expression was increased in preterm group and its relative expression ratio was 1: 2.166 on both RT-PCR and real-time RT-PCR (P<0.01).
Conclusion The preterm rabbits showed two times more mRNA expression of Foxm1 gene in their lungs than full terms. This Foxm1 is the gene associated for lung maturation of preterm rabbits.