Targeted injury of type II alveolar epithelial cells induces pulmonary fibrosis.
ABSTRACT Ineffective repair of a damaged alveolar epithelium has been postulated to cause pulmonary fibrosis. In support of this theory, epithelial cell abnormalities, including hyperplasia, apoptosis, and persistent denudation of the alveolar basement membrane, are found in the lungs of humans with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and in animal models of fibrotic lung disease. Furthermore, mutations in genes that affect regenerative capacity or that cause injury/apoptosis of type II alveolar epithelial cells have been identified in familial forms of pulmonary fibrosis. Although these findings are compelling, there are no studies that demonstrate a direct role for the alveolar epithelium or, more specifically, type II cells in the scarring process.
To determine if a targeted injury to type II cells would result in pulmonary fibrosis.
A transgenic mouse was generated to express the human diphtheria toxin receptor on type II alveolar epithelial cells. Diphtheria toxin was administered to these animals to specifically target the type II epithelium for injury. Lung fibrosis was assessed by histology and hydroxyproline measurement.
Transgenic mice treated with diphtheria toxin developed an approximately twofold increase in their lung hydroxyproline content on Days 21 and 28 after diphtheria toxin treatment. The fibrosis developed in conjunction with type II cell injury. Histological evaluation revealed diffuse collagen deposition with patchy areas of more confluent scarring and associated alveolar contraction.
The development of lung fibrosis in the setting of type II cell injury in our model provides evidence for a causal link between the epithelial defects seen in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and the corresponding areas of scarring.
- SourceAvailable from: Kazutetsu Aoshiba[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The airway epithelium serves as a biological barrier essential for host defense against inhaled pollutants. While chronic epithelial injury, commonly associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome, often results in airway fibrosis, limited animal models of airway fibrosis have been established. Club cells (Clara cells) in the small airways represent an important population of epithelial progenitor cells and also the principal site of localization of the cytochrome P-450 monooxygenase system, which metabolically activates xenobiotic chemicals such as naphthalene by converting them to toxic epoxide intermediates. We hypothesized that repeated exposure to naphthalene may cause prolonged loss of club cells, triggering aberrant local epithelial repair mechanisms that lead to peribronchial fibrosis. We administered intraperitoneal injections of naphthalene to C57/BL6J mice once a week for 14 consecutive weeks. Repeated club cell injury caused by naphthalene triggered regional hyperproliferation of epithelial progenitor cells, while other regions remained denuded or squamated, resulting in fibroblast proliferation and peribronchial collagen deposition associated with upregulation of the fibrogenic cytokines transforming growth factor-β and connective tissue growth factor. The total collagen content of the lung assessed by measurement of the hydroxyproline content was also increased after repeated exposure to naphthalene. These results lend support to the relevance of repeated injury of airway epithelial cells as a trigger for resting fibroblast proliferation and airway fibrosis. This model of airway fibrosis is simple and easy to reproduce, and may be expected to advance our understanding of the pathogenesis and potential treatment of airway fibrotic disorders.Experimental and toxicologic pathology: official journal of the Gesellschaft fur Toxikologische Pathologie 01/2014; · 1.43 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Fibrotic lung diseases represent a diverse group of progressive and often fatal disorders with limited treatment options. Although the pathogenesis of these conditions remains incompletely understood, receptor type protein tyrosine phosphatase α (PTP-α encoded by PTPRA) has emerged as a key regulator of fibroblast signaling. We previously reported that PTP-α regulates cellular responses to cytokines and growth factors through integrin-mediated signaling and that PTP-α promotes fibroblast expression of matrix metalloproteinase 3, a matrix-degrading proteinase linked to pulmonary fibrosis. Here, we sought to determine more directly the role of PTP-α in pulmonary fibrosis. Mice genetically deficient in PTP-α (Ptpra(-/-)) were protected from pulmonary fibrosis induced by intratracheal bleomycin, with minimal alterations in the early inflammatory response or production of TGF-β. Ptpra(-/-) mice were also protected from pulmonary fibrosis induced by adenoviral-mediated expression of active TGF-β1. In reciprocal bone marrow chimera experiments, the protective phenotype tracked with lung parenchymal cells but not bone marrow-derived cells. Because fibroblasts are key contributors to tissue fibrosis, we compared profibrotic responses in wild-type and Ptpra(-/-) mouse embryonic and lung fibroblasts. Ptpra(-/-) fibroblasts exhibited hyporesponsiveness to TGF-β, manifested by diminished expression of αSMA, EDA-fibronectin, collagen 1A, and CTGF. Ptpra(-/-) fibroblasts exhibited markedly attenuated TGF-β-induced Smad2/3 transcriptional activity. We conclude that PTP-α promotes profibrotic signaling pathways in fibroblasts through control of cellular responsiveness to TGF-β.American Journal Of Pathology 03/2014; · 4.60 Impact Factor
Article: DAMPs and Danger Signals in IPF.[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The chronic debilitating lung disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is characterized by a progressive decline in lung function, with a median mortality rate of 2-3 years after diagnosis. IPF is a disease of unknown cause and progression, and multiple pathways have been demonstrated to be activated in the lungs of these patients. A recent genome-wide association study of more than a thousand IPF patients identified genes linked to host defence, cell-cell adhesion, and DNA repair being altered due to fibrosis(1). Further emerging data suggests that the respiratory system may not be a truly sterile environment, and it exhibits an altered microbiome during fibrotic disease(2). These altered host defence mechanisms might explain the increased susceptibility of IPF patients to microbial- and viral-induced exacerbations. Moreover, chronic epithelial injury and apoptosis are key features in IPF, which might be mediated, in part, by both pathogen-associated (PA) and danger-associated (DA) molecular patterns (MPs). Emerging data indicate that both PAMPs and DAMPs contribute to apoptosis but not necessarily in a manner that allows for the removal of dying cells, without further exacerbating inflammation. In contrast, both types of MPs drive cellular necrosis leading to an exacerbation of lung injury and/or infection as the debris promotes a pro-inflammatory response. Thus, this review will focus on the impact of MPs resulting from infection-driven apoptosis and necrosis during chronic fibrotic lung disease.American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 04/2014; · 4.15 Impact Factor