[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Peripheral blood biomarkers might improve diagnostic accuracy for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Results: Gene expression profiles were obtained from 89 patients with IPF and 26 normal controls. Samples were stratified according to severity of disease based on pulmonary function. The stratified dataset was split into subsets; two-thirds of the samples were selected to comprise the training set, while one-third was reserved for the validation set. Bayesian probit regression was used on the training set to develop a gene expression model for IPF versus normal. The gene expression model was tested by using it on the validation set to perform class prediction. Unsupervised clustering failed to discriminate between samples of different severity. Therefore, samples of all severities were included in the training and validation sets, in equal proportions. A gene signature model was developed from the training set. The model was built in an iterative fashion with the number of gene features selected to minimize the misclassification error in cross validation. The final model was based on the top 108 discriminating genes in the training set. The signature was successfully applied to the validation set, ROC area under the curve = 0.893, p < 0.0001. Using the optimal threshold (0.74) accurate class predictions were made for 77% of the test cases with sensitivity = 0.70, specificity = 1.00. Conclusions: By using Bayesian probit regression to develop a model, we show that it is entirely possible to make a diagnosis of IPF from the peripheral blood with gene signatures.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) is a condition of progressive airflow obstruction that affects a majority of lung transplant recipients and limits long-term posttransplant survival. Although epithelial injury appears central to the development of BOS, little is known regarding the specific epithelial cell types that are affected in this condition. We hypothesized that BOS would involve preferential injury to the secretory Clara cells that function in innate defense and epithelial repair. To test this hypothesis, we assessed tissue transcript, tissue protein and lung fluid protein expression of Clara cell secretory protein (CCSP), a marker for Clara cells, in lung transplant recipients with BOS, BOS-free patients and in donor controls. Our results demonstrate that CCSP tissue transcript and protein expression are significantly reduced in lung transplant recipients with BOS compared to BOS-free or donor controls. In addition, we demonstrate that CCSP protein levels are significantly reduced in the lung fluid of patients with BOS compared to BOS-free controls, in cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis. Collectively, these complementary results illustrate that BOS involves a selective alteration in the distribution and function of bronchiolar Clara cells.
American Journal of Transplantation 08/2012; 12(11). DOI:10.1111/j.1600-6143.2012.04201.x · 6.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The accurate diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a major clinical challenge. We developed a model to diagnose IPF by applying Bayesian probit regression (BPR) modelling to gene expression profiles of whole lung tissue.
Whole lung tissue was obtained from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) undergoing surgical lung biopsy or lung transplantation. Controls were obtained from normal organ donors. We performed cluster analyses to explore differences in our dataset. No significant difference was found between samples obtained from different lobes of the same patient. A significant difference was found between samples obtained at biopsy versus explant. Following preliminary analysis of the complete dataset, we selected three subsets for the development of diagnostic gene signatures: the first signature was developed from all IPF samples (as compared to controls); the second signature was developed from the subset of IPF samples obtained at biopsy; the third signature was developed from IPF explants. To assess the validity of each signature, we used an independent cohort of IPF and normal samples. Each signature was used to predict phenotype (IPF versus normal) in samples from the validation cohort. We compared the models' predictions to the true phenotype of each validation sample, and then calculated sensitivity, specificity and accuracy.
Surprisingly, we found that all three signatures were reasonably valid predictors of diagnosis, with small differences in test sensitivity, specificity and overall accuracy.
This study represents the first use of BPR on whole lung tissue; previously, BPR was primarily used to develop predictive models for cancer. This also represents the first report of an independently validated IPF gene expression signature. In summary, BPR is a promising tool for the development of gene expression signatures from non-neoplastic lung tissue. In the future, BPR might be used to develop definitive diagnostic gene signatures for IPF, prognostic gene signatures for IPF or gene signatures for other non-neoplastic lung disorders such as bronchiolitis obliterans.
BMC Medical Genomics 10/2011; 4:70. DOI:10.1186/1755-8794-4-70 · 3.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tissue fibrosis is a major cause of morbidity, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a terminal illness characterized by unremitting matrix deposition in the lung. The mechanisms that control progressive fibrosis are unknown. Myofibroblasts accumulate at sites of tissue remodeling and produce extracellular matrix components such as collagen and hyaluronan (HA) that ultimately compromise organ function. We found that targeted overexpression of HAS2 (HA synthase 2) by myofibroblasts produced an aggressive phenotype leading to severe lung fibrosis and death after bleomycin-induced injury. Fibroblasts isolated from transgenic mice overexpressing HAS2 showed a greater capacity to invade matrix. Conditional deletion of HAS2 in mesenchymal cells abrogated the invasive fibroblast phenotype, impeded myofibroblast accumulation, and inhibited the development of lung fibrosis. Both the invasive phenotype and the progressive fibrosis were inhibited in the absence of CD44. Treatment with a blocking antibody to CD44 reduced lung fibrosis in mice in vivo. Finally, fibroblasts isolated from patients with IPF exhibited an invasive phenotype that was also dependent on HAS2 and CD44. Understanding the mechanisms leading to an invasive fibroblast phenotype could lead to novel approaches to the treatment of disorders characterized by severe tissue fibrosis.
Journal of Experimental Medicine 06/2011; 208(7):1459-71. DOI:10.1084/jem.20102510 · 13.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive disease that causes unremitting extracellular matrix deposition with resulting distortion of pulmonary architecture and impaired gas exchange. β-Arrestins regulate G protein (heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding protein)-coupled receptors through receptor desensitization while also acting as signaling scaffolds to facilitate numerous effector pathways. Here, we examine the role of β-arrestin1 and β-arrestin2 in the pathobiology of pulmonary fibrosis. In the bleomycin-induced mouse lung fibrosis model, loss of either β-arrestin1 or β-arrestin2 resulted in protection from mortality, inhibition of matrix deposition, and protected lung function. Fibrosis was prevented despite preserved recruitment of inflammatory cells and fibroblast chemotaxis. However, isolated lung fibroblasts from bleomycin-treated β-arrestin-null mice failed to invade extracellular matrix and displayed altered expression of genes involved in matrix production and degradation. Furthermore, knockdown of β-arrestin2 in fibroblasts from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis attenuated the invasive phenotype. These data implicate β-arrestins as mediators of fibroblast invasion and the development of pulmonary fibrosis, and as a potential target for therapeutic intervention in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Science translational medicine 03/2011; 3(74):74ra23. DOI:10.1126/scitranslmed.3001564 · 14.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive, dysregulated response to injury culminating in compromised lung function due to excess extracellular matrix production. The heparan sulfate proteoglycan syndecan-4 is important in mediating fibroblast-matrix interactions, but its role in pulmonary fibrosis has not been explored. To investigate this issue, we used intratracheal instillation of bleomycin as a model of acute lung injury and fibrosis. We found that bleomycin treatment increased syndecan-4 expression. Moreover, we observed a marked decrease in neutrophil recruitment and an increase in both myofibroblast recruitment and interstitial fibrosis in bleomycin-treated syndecan-4-null (Sdc4-/-) mice. Subsequently, we identified a direct interaction between CXCL10, an antifibrotic chemokine, and syndecan-4 that inhibited primary lung fibroblast migration during fibrosis; mutation of the heparin-binding domain, but not the CXCR3 domain, of CXCL10 diminished this effect. Similarly, migration of fibroblasts from patients with pulmonary fibrosis was inhibited in the presence of CXCL10 protein defective in CXCR3 binding. Furthermore, administration of recombinant CXCL10 protein inhibited fibrosis in WT mice, but not in Sdc4-/- mice. Collectively, these data suggest that the direct interaction of syndecan-4 and CXCL10 in the lung interstitial compartment serves to inhibit fibroblast recruitment and subsequent fibrosis. Thus, administration of CXCL10 protein defective in CXCR3 binding may represent a novel therapy for pulmonary fibrosis.
The Journal of clinical investigation 06/2010; 120(6):2049-57. DOI:10.1172/JCI38644 · 13.77 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a non-neoplastic pulmonary disease that is characterized by the formation of scar tissue within the lungs in the absence of any known provocation. IPF is a rare disease which affects approximately 5 million persons worldwide. The prevalence is estimated to be slightly greater in men (20.2/100,000) than in women (13.2/100,000). The mean age at presentation is 66 years. IPF initially manifests with symptoms of exercise-induced breathless and dry coughing. Auscultation of the lungs reveals early inspiratory crackles, predominantly located in the lower posterior lung zones upon physical exam. Clubbing is found in approximately 50% of IPF patients. Cor pulmonale develops in association with end-stage disease. In that case, classic signs of right heart failure may be present. Etiology remains incompletely understood. Some environmental factors may be associated with IPF (cigarette smoking, exposure to silica and livestock). IPF is recognized on high-resolution computed tomography by peripheral, subpleural lower lobe reticular opacities in association with subpleural honeycomb changes. IPF is associated with a pathological lesion known as usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP). The UIP pattern consists of normal lung alternating with patches of dense fibrosis, taking the form of collagen sheets. The diagnosis of IPF requires correlation of the clinical setting with radiographic images and a lung biopsy. In the absence of lung biopsy, the diagnosis of IPF can be made by defined clinical criteria that were published in guidelines endorsed by several professional societies. Differential diagnosis includes other idiopathic interstitial pneumonia, connective tissue diseases (systemic sclerosis, polymyositis, rheumatoid arthritis), forme fruste of autoimmune disorders, chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis and other environmental (sometimes occupational) exposures. IPF is typically progressive and leads to significant disability. The median survival is 2 to 5 years from the time of diagnosis. Medical therapy is ineffective in the treatment of IPF. New molecular therapeutic targets have been identified and several clinical trials are investigating the efficacy of novel medication. Meanwhile, pulmonary transplantation remains a viable option for patients with IPF. It is expected that, during the next decade, considerable progress will be made toward the understanding and treatment of this devastating illness.