Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a disease of unknown etiology, and life expectancy of 3-5 years after diagnosis. The incidence rate in the United States is estimated as high as 15 per 100,000 persons per year. The disease is characterized by repeated injury to the alveolar epithelium, resulting in inflammation and deregulated repair, leading to scarring of the lung tissue, resulting in progressive dyspnea and hypoxemia. The disease has no cure, although new drugs are in clinical trials and two agents have been approved for use by the FDA. In the present paper we develop a mathematical model based on the interactions among cells and proteins that are involved in the progression of the disease. The model simulations are shown to be in agreement with available lung tissue data of human patients. The model can be used to explore the efficacy of potential drugs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes