TGFβ signaling in lung epithelium regulates bleomycin-induced alveolar injury and fibroblast recruitment.

Degryse AL, Tanjore H, Xu XC, Polosukhin VV, Jones BR, Boomershine CS, Ortiz C, Sherrill TP, McMahon FB, Gleaves LA, Blackwell TS, Lawson WE
Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2011 300 (6): L887-97

PMID: 21441353 · PMCID: PMC3119129 · DOI:10.1152/ajplung.00397.2010

The response of alveolar epithelial cells (AECs) to lung injury plays a central role in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis, but the mechanisms by which AECs regulate fibrotic processes are not well defined. We aimed to elucidate how transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) signaling in lung epithelium impacts lung fibrosis in the intratracheal bleomycin model. Mice with selective deficiency of TGFβ receptor 2 (TGFβR2) in lung epithelium were generated and crossed to cell fate reporter mice that express β-galactosidase (β-gal) in cells of lung epithelial lineage. Mice were given intratracheal bleomycin (0.08 U), and the following parameters were assessed: AEC death by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP-mediated nick-end labeling assay, inflammation by total and differential cell counts from bronchoalveolar lavage, fibrosis by scoring of trichrome-stained lung sections, and total lung collagen content. Mice with lung epithelial deficiency of TGFβR2 had improved AEC survival, despite greater lung inflammation, after bleomycin administration. At 3 wk after bleomycin administration, mice with epithelial TGFβR2 deficiency showed a significantly attenuated fibrotic response in the lungs, as determined by semiquantitatve scoring and total collagen content. The reduction in lung fibrosis in these mice was associated with a marked decrease in the lung fibroblast population, both total lung fibroblasts and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition-derived (S100A4(+)/β-gal(+)) fibroblasts. Attenuation of TGFβ signaling in lung epithelium provides protection from bleomycin-induced fibrosis, indicating a critical role for the epithelium in transducing the profibrotic effects of this cytokine.

MeSH Terms (22)

Animals Antibiotics, Antineoplastic beta-Galactosidase Bleomycin Blotting, Western Cell Proliferation Cells, Cultured Disease Models, Animal Epithelium Fibroblasts Fluorescent Antibody Technique Lung Injury Mice Mice, Transgenic Pneumonia Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases Pulmonary Alveoli Pulmonary Fibrosis Receptor, Transforming Growth Factor-beta Type II Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta Signal Transduction Transforming Growth Factor beta

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