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      Up-Regulation and Profibrotic Role of Osteopontin in Human Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

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          Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive and lethal disorder characterized by fibroproliferation and excessive accumulation of extracellular matrix in the lung.

          Methods and Findings

          Using oligonucleotide arrays, we identified osteopontin as one of the genes that significantly distinguishes IPF from normal lungs. Osteopontin was localized to alveolar epithelial cells in IPF lungs and was also significantly elevated in bronchoalveolar lavage from IPF patients. To study the fibrosis-relevant effects of osteopontin we stimulated primary human lung fibroblasts and alveolar epithelial cells (A549) with recombinant osteopontin. Osteopontin induced a significant increase of migration and proliferation in both fibroblasts and epithelial cells. Epithelial growth was inhibited by the pentapeptide Gly-Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser (GRGDS) and antibody to CD44, while fibroproliferation was inhibited by GRGDS and antibody to α vβ 3 integrin. Fibroblast and epithelial cell migration were inhibited by GRGDS, anti-CD44, and anti-α vβ 3. In fibroblasts, osteopontin up-regulated tissue inhibitor of metalloprotease-1 and type I collagen, and down-regulated matrix metalloprotease-1 (MMP-1) expression, while in A549 cells it caused up-regulation of MMP-7. In human IPF lungs, osteopontin colocalized with MMP-7 in alveolar epithelial cells, and application of weakest link statistical models to microarray data suggested a significant interaction between osteopontin and MMP-7.


          Our results provide a potential mechanism by which osteopontin secreted from the alveolar epithelium may exert a profibrotic effect in IPF lungs and highlight osteopontin as a potential target for therapeutic intervention in this incurable disease.


          Osteopontin may have a critical role in the pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and be a target for therapeutic intervention in this disease.

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          Most cited references 46

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          CD44: from adhesion molecules to signalling regulators.

          Cell-adhesion molecules, once believed to function primarily in tethering cells to extracellular ligands, are now recognized as having broader functions in cellular signalling cascades. The CD44 transmembrane glycoprotein family adds new aspects to these roles by participating in signal-transduction processes--not only by establishing specific transmembrane complexes, but also by organizing signalling cascades through association with the actin cytoskeleton. CD44 and its associated partner proteins monitor changes in the extracellular matrix that influence cell growth, survival and differentiation.
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            Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: prevailing and evolving hypotheses about its pathogenesis and implications for therapy.

             ,  M. Selman,   (2001)
            Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive and usually fatal lung disease characterized by fibroblast proliferation and extracellular matrix remodeling, which result in irreversible distortion of the lung's architecture. Although the pathogenetic mechanisms remain to be determined, the prevailing hypothesis holds that fibrosis is preceded and provoked by a chronic inflammatory process that injures the lung and modulates lung fibrogenesis, leading to the end-stage fibrotic scar. However, there is little evidence that inflammation is prominent in early disease, and it is unclear whether inflammation is relevant to the development of the fibrotic process. Evidence suggests that inflammation does not play a pivotal role. Inflammation is not a prominent histopathologic finding, and epithelial injury in the absence of ongoing inflammation is sufficient to stimulate the development of fibrosis. In addition, the inflammatory response to a lung fibrogenic insult is not necessarily related to the fibrotic response. Clinical measurements of inflammation fail to correlate with stage or outcome, and potent anti-inflammatory therapy does not improve outcome. This review presents a growing body of evidence suggesting that idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis involves abnormal wound healing in response to multiple, microscopic sites of ongoing alveolar epithelial injury and activation associated with the formation of patchy fibroblast-myofibroblast foci, which evolve to fibrosis. Progress in understanding the fibrogenic mechanisms in the lung is likely to yield more effective therapies.
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              Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

              Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a rapidly progressive illness of unknown cause characterized by sequential acute lung injury with subsequent scarring and end-stage lung disease. Treatment at present remains largely supportive, with evidence that patients' satisfaction and survival may be improved by referral to centers specializing in the evaluation of interstitial lung diseases. Although no drug therapy has clearly been demonstrated to benefit patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a number of novel investigational agents hold promise for future study. Given the poor prognosis associated with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, patients should be referred to regional centers of expertise for enrollment in therapeutic clinical trials or for lung transplantation.

                Author and article information

                Role: Academic Editor
                PLoS Med
                PLoS Medicine
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                September 2005
                6 September 2005
                : 2
                : 9
                1Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico,
                2The Dorothy P. and Richard P. Simmons Center for Interstitial Lung Diseases, Pulmonary Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America,
                3Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Respiratorias, Mexico City, Mexico,
                4Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America
                National Heart and Lung Institute United Kingdom
                Author notes
                *To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: kaminskin@ 123456upmc.edu

                ¤ Current address: Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Author Contributions: AP, KG, SY, VR, MS, and NK designed the study. KG, JC, TJR, YY, CB, IH, VR, and NK performed experiments. AP, KG, JC, YY, SY, IH, VR, MS, and NK analyzed the data. AP, KG, MS, and NK enrolled patients. AP, KG, MS, and NK contributed to writing the paper.

                Copyright: © 2005 Pardo et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
                Research Article
                Molecular Biology/Structural Biology
                Respiratory Medicine
                Respiratory Medicine
                Interstitial Lung Disease



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