Pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive lung disorder of unknown etiology, which is characterized by alterations in alveolar epithelium function, fibroblast activation, and increased extracellular matrix deposition. Recent studies have demonstrated that PF is associated with uncontrolled production of cytokines after lung injury. In the present study, we found that transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) were both upregulated in bleomycin-induced fibrotic lung tissue and primary murine alveolar epithelial Type II (ATII) cells treated with bleomycin. Furthermore, we discovered that TGF-β1 could induce the differentiation of lung resident mesenchymal stem cells (LR-MSCs) into fibroblasts, which may play an essential role in PF. LR-MSCs incubated with FGF-2 showed modest alterations in the expression of α-SMA and Vimentin. Moreover, in our study, we found that Wnt/β-catenin signaling was activated both in vitro and in vivo as a result of bleomycin treatment. Interestingly, we also found that suppression of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling could significantly attenuate bleomycin-induced PF accompanied with decreased expression of TGF-β1 and FGF-2 in vitro and in vivo. These results support that controlling the aberrant expression of TGF-β1 and FGF-2 via inhibition of Wnt/β-catenin signaling could serve as a potential therapeutic strategy for PF.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Biochemistry