Extracellular matrix powder protects against bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis.

Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219, USA.
Tissue Engineering Part A (Impact Factor: 4.64). 07/2011; 17(21-22):2795-804. DOI: 10.1089/ten.tea.2011.0023
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Pulmonary fibrosis refers to a group of lung diseases characterized by inflammation, fibroblast proliferation, and excessive collagen deposition. Although the mechanisms underlying pulmonary fibrosis are poorly understood, current evidence suggests that epithelial injury contributes to the development of fibrosis. Regenerative medicine approaches using extracellular matrix (ECM) scaffolds have been shown to promote site-specific tissue remodeling. This led to the hypothesis that particulate ECM would promote normal tissue repair and attenuate bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis. C57BL/6 mice were treated intratracheally with bleomycin or saline with or without a particulate form of ECM scaffold from porcine urinary bladder matrix (UBM-ECM) or enzymatically digested UBM-ECM. Mice were sacrificed 5 and 14 days after exposure. Compared to control mice, bleomycin-exposed mice had similar increases in inflammation in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid regardless of UBM-ECM treatment. However, 14 days after exposure, lung histology and collagen levels revealed that mice treated with bleomycin and the particulate or digested UBM-ECM had negligible fibrosis, whereas mice given only bleomycin had marked fibrosis. Administration of the particulate UBM-ECM 24 h after bleomycin exposure also significantly protected against pulmonary injury. In vitro epithelial cell migration and wound healing assays revealed that particulate UBM-ECM promoted epithelial cell chemotaxis and migration. This suggests that promotion of epithelial wound repair may be one mechanism in which UBM-ECM limits pulmonary fibrosis.

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