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Int J Mol Sci ; 21(22)2020 Nov 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-917002


Pro-inflammatory cytokines like interleukin-1ß (IL-1ß) are upregulated during early responses to tissue damage and are expected to transiently compromise the mechanical microenvironment. Fibroblasts are key regulators of tissue mechanics in the lungs and other organs. However, the effects of IL-1ß on fibroblast mechanics and functions remain unclear. Here we treated human pulmonary fibroblasts from control donors with IL-1ß and used Atomic Force Microscopy to unveil that IL-1ß significantly reduces the stiffness of fibroblasts concomitantly with a downregulation of filamentous actin (F-actin) and alpha-smooth muscle (α-SMA). Likewise, COL1A1 mRNA was reduced, whereas that of collagenases MMP1 and MMP2 were upregulated, favoring a reduction of type-I collagen. These mechanobiology changes were functionally associated with reduced proliferation and enhanced migration upon IL-1ß stimulation, which could facilitate lung repair by drawing fibroblasts to sites of tissue damage. Our observations reveal that IL-1ß may reduce local tissue rigidity by acting both intracellularly and extracellularly through the downregulation of fibroblast contractility and type I collagen deposition, respectively. These IL-1ß-dependent mechanical effects may enhance lung repair further by locally increasing pulmonary tissue compliance to preserve normal lung distension and function. Moreover, our results support that IL-1ß provides innate anti-fibrotic protection that may be relevant during the early stages of lung repair.

Interleukin-1beta/physiology , Lung/physiology , Actins/metabolism , Adolescent , Adult , Biomechanical Phenomena , Cell Movement/drug effects , Cell Movement/physiology , Cell Proliferation/drug effects , Cell Proliferation/physiology , Cells, Cultured , Collagen Type I/genetics , Collagen Type I/metabolism , Collagen Type III/genetics , Collagen Type III/metabolism , Cyclooxygenase 2/metabolism , Elasticity/drug effects , Elasticity/physiology , Female , Fibroblasts/cytology , Fibroblasts/drug effects , Fibroblasts/physiology , Humans , Interleukin-1beta/pharmacology , Lung/cytology , Lung/drug effects , Male , Microscopy, Atomic Force , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , Regeneration/genetics , Regeneration/physiology , Wound Healing/drug effects , Wound Healing/genetics , Wound Healing/physiology , Young Adult