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      A Mechanism for Regulating Pulmonary Inflammation and Fibrosis: The Integrin αvβ6 Binds and Activates Latent TGF β1

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          Targeted disruption of the mouse transforming growth factor-beta 1 gene results in multifocal inflammatory disease.

          Transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-beta 1) is a multifunctional growth factor that has profound regulatory effects on many developmental and physiological processes. Disruption of the TGF-beta 1 gene by homologous recombination in murine embryonic stem cells enables mice to be generated that carry the disrupted allele. Animals homozygous for the mutated TGF-beta 1 allele show no gross developmental abnormalities, but about 20 days after birth they succumb to a wasting syndrome accompanied by a multifocal, mixed inflammatory cell response and tissue necrosis, leading to organ failure and death. TGF-beta 1-deficient mice may be valuable models for human immune and inflammatory disorders, including autoimmune diseases, transplant rejection and graft versus host reactions.
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            Adenovector-mediated gene transfer of active transforming growth factor-beta1 induces prolonged severe fibrosis in rat lung.

            Transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1 has been implicated in the pathogenesis of fibrosis based upon its matrix-inducing effects on stromal cells in vitro, and studies demonstrating increased expression of total TGF-beta1 in fibrotic tissues from a variety of organs. The precise role in vivo of this cytokine in both its latent and active forms, however, remains unclear. Using replication-deficient adenovirus vectors to transfer the cDNA of porcine TGF-beta1 to rat lung, we have been able to study the effect of TGF-beta1 protein in the respiratory tract directly. We have demonstrated that transient overexpression of active, but not latent, TGF-beta1 resulted in prolonged and severe interstitial and pleural fibrosis characterized by extensive deposition of the extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins collagen, fibronectin, and elastin, and by emergence of cells with the myofibroblast phenotype. These results illustrate the role of TGF-beta1 and the importance of its activation in the pulmonary fibrotic process, and suggest that targeting active TGF-beta1 and steps involved in TGF-beta1 activation are likely to be valuable antifibrogenic therapeutic strategies. This new and versatile model of pulmonary fibrosis can be used to study such therapies.
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              The extracellular matrix as a cell survival factor.

              Programmed cell death (PCD) or apoptosis is a naturally occurring cell suicide pathway induced in a variety of cell types. In many cases, PCD is induced by the withdrawal of specific hormones or growth factors that function as survival factors. In this study, we have investigated the potential role of the extracellular matrix (ECM) as a cell survival factor. Our results indicate that in the absence of any ECM interactions, human endothelial cells rapidly undergo PCD, as determined by cell morphology, nuclei fragmentation, DNA degradation, protein cross-linking, and the expression of the PCD-specific gene TRPM-2. PCD was blocked by plating cells on an immobilized integrin beta 1 antibody but not by antibodies to either the class I histocompatibility antigen (HLA) or vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), suggesting that integrin-mediated signals were required for maintaining cell viability. Treatment of the cells in suspension with the tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor sodium orthovanadate also blocked PCD. When other cell types were examined, some, but not all, underwent rapid cell death when deprived of adhesion to the ECM. These results suggest that in addition to regulating cell growth and differentiation, the ECM also functions as a survival factor for many cell types.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Cell
                Cell
                Elsevier BV
                00928674
                February 1999
                February 1999
                : 96
                : 3
                : 319-328
                Article
                10.1016/S0092-8674(00)80545-0
                74b79516-293f-4683-b609-f60fc4fcfbec
                © 1999

                http://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/


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