Author(s): Shiwen X, Kennedy L, Renzoni EA, BouGharios G, du Bois RM,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: Fibrosis is excessive scarring caused by the accumulation and contraction of extracellular matrix proteins and is a common end pathway in many chronic diseases, including scleroderma (systemic sclerosis [SSc]). Indeed, pulmonary fibrosis is a major cause of death in SSc. Transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta) induces endothelin 1 (ET-1) in human lung fibroblasts by a Smad-independent, JNK-dependent mechanism. The goal of this study was to assess whether ET-1 is a downstream mediator of the profibrotic effects of TGFbeta in lung fibroblasts. METHODS: We used a specific endothelin receptor antagonist to determine whether ET-1 is a downstream mediator of TGFbeta responses in lung fibroblasts, using microarray technology, real-time polymerase chain reaction, and Western blot analyses. RESULTS: The ability of TGFbeta to induce the expression of a cohort of profibrotic genes, including type I collagen, fibronectin, and CCN2, and to contract a collagen gel matrix, depends on ET-1. CONCLUSION: ET-1 contributes to the ability of TGFbeta to promote a profibrotic phenotype in human lung fibroblasts, consistent with the notion that endothelin receptor antagonism may be beneficial in controlling fibrogenic responses in lung fibroblasts.
This article was published in Arthritis Rheum
and referenced in Rheumatology: Current Research