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1.
Int J Mol Sci ; 24(9)2023 May 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2320574

ABSTRACT

Extracellular collagen remodeling is one of the central mechanisms responsible for the structural and compositional coherence of myocardium in patients undergoing myocardial infarction (MI). Activated primary cardiac fibroblasts following myocardial infarction are extensively investigated to establish anti-fibrotic therapies to improve left ventricular remodeling. To systematically assess vitamin C functions as a potential modulator involved in collagen fibrillogenesis in an in vitro model mimicking heart tissue healing after MI. Mouse primary cardiac fibroblasts were isolated from wild-type C57BL/6 mice and cultured under normal and profibrotic (hypoxic + transforming growth factor beta 1) conditions on freshly prepared coatings mimicking extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling during healing after an MI. At 10 µg/mL, vitamin C reprogramed the respiratory mitochondrial metabolism, which is effectively associated with a more increased accumulation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (iROS) than the number of those generated by mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mROS). The mRNA/protein expression of subtypes I, III collagen, and fibroblasts differentiations markers were upregulated over time, particularly in the presence of vitamin C. The collagen substrate potentiated the modulator role of vitamin C in reinforcing the structure of types I and III collagen synthesis by reducing collagen V expression in a timely manner, which is important in the initiation of fibrillogenesis. Altogether, our study evidenced the synergistic function of vitamin C at an optimum dose on maintaining the equilibrium functionality of radical scavenger and gene transcription, which are important in the initial phases after healing after an MI, while modulating the synthesis of de novo collagen fibrils, which is important in the final stage of tissue healing.


Subject(s)
Ascorbic Acid , Myocardial Infarction , Mice , Animals , Ascorbic Acid/pharmacology , Ascorbic Acid/metabolism , Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Myocardial Infarction/metabolism , Myocardium/metabolism , Collagen/metabolism , Fibroblasts/metabolism , Vitamins/metabolism , Ventricular Remodeling/physiology
2.
Bioorg Chem ; 138: 106592, 2023 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2311750

ABSTRACT

Pulmonary fibrosis is the end-stage change of a large class of lung diseases characterized by the proliferation of fibroblasts and the accumulation of a large amount of extracellular matrix, accompanied by inflammatory damage and tissue structure destruction, which also shows the normal alveolar tissue is damaged and then abnormally repaired resulting in structural abnormalities (scarring). Pulmonary fibrosis has a serious impact on the respiratory function of the human body, and the clinical manifestation is progressive dyspnea. The incidence of pulmonary fibrosis-related diseases is increasing year by year, and no curative drugs have appeared so far. Nevertheless, research on pulmonary fibrosis have also increased in recent years, but there are no breakthrough results. Pathological changes of pulmonary fibrosis appear in the lungs of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that have not yet ended, and whether to improve the condition of patients with COVID-19 by means of the anti-fibrosis therapy, which are the questions we need to address now. This review systematically sheds light on the current state of research on fibrosis from multiple perspectives, hoping to provide some references for design and optimization of subsequent drugs and the selection of anti-fibrosis treatment plans and strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pulmonary Fibrosis , Humans , Pulmonary Fibrosis/drug therapy , Pulmonary Fibrosis/pathology , COVID-19/pathology , Lung , Fibrosis , Fibroblasts
3.
J Nanobiotechnology ; 21(1): 69, 2023 Feb 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2288660

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The rapid increase in production and application of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) has led to wide public concerns in their potential risks to human health. Single-walled CNTs (SWCNTs), as an extensively applied type of CNTs, have shown strong capacity to induce pulmonary fibrosis in animal models, however, the intrinsic mechanisms remain uncertain. RESULTS: In vivo experiments, we showed that accelerated senescence of alveolar type II epithelial cells (AECIIs) was associated with pulmonary fibrosis in SWCNTs-exposed mice, as well as SWCNTs-induced fibrotic lungs exhibited impaired autophagic flux in AECIIs in a time dependent manner. In vitro, SWCNTs exposure resulted in profound dysfunctions of MLE-12 cells, characterized by impaired autophagic flux and accelerated cellular senescence. Furthermore, the conditioned medium from SWCNTs-exposed MLE-12 cells promoted fibroblast-myofibroblast transdifferentiation (FMT). Additionally, restoration of autophagy flux with rapamycin significantly alleviated SWCNTs-triggered senescence and subsequent FMT whereas inhibiting autophagy using 3-MA aggravated SWCNTs-triggered senescence in MLE-12 cells and FMT. CONCLUSION: SWCNTs trigger senescence of AECIIs by impairing autophagic flux mediated pulmonary fibrosis. The findings raise the possibility of senescence-related cytokines as potential biomarkers for the hazard of CNTs exposure and regulating autophagy as an appealing target to halt CNTs-induced development of pulmonary fibrosis.


Subject(s)
Nanotubes, Carbon , Pulmonary Fibrosis , Humans , Animals , Mice , Nanotubes, Carbon/toxicity , Pulmonary Fibrosis/chemically induced , Alveolar Epithelial Cells , Autophagy , Fibroblasts
4.
Biomed Pharmacother ; 161: 114481, 2023 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2254896

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection continues to pose threats to public health. The clinical manifestations of lung pathology in COVID-19 patients include sustained inflammation and pulmonary fibrosis. The macrocyclic diterpenoid ovatodiolide (OVA) has been reported to have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-allergic, and analgesic activities. Here, we investigated the pharmacological mechanism of OVA in suppressing SARS-CoV-2 infection and pulmonary fibrosis in vitro and in vivo. Our results revealed that OVA was an effective SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro inhibitor and showed remarkable inhibitory activity against SARS-CoV-2 infection. On the other hand, OVA ameliorated pulmonary fibrosis in bleomycin (BLM)-induced mice, reducing inflammatory cell infiltration and collagen deposition in the lung. OVA decreased the levels of pulmonary hydroxyproline and myeloperoxidase, as well as lung and serum TNF-ɑ, IL-1ß, IL-6, and TGF-ß in BLM-induced pulmonary fibrotic mice. Meanwhile, OVA reduced the migration and fibroblast-to-myofibroblast conversion of TGF-ß1-induced fibrotic human lung fibroblasts. Consistently, OVA downregulated TGF-ß/TßRs signaling. In computational analysis, OVA resembles the chemical structures of the kinase inhibitors TßRI and TßRII and was shown to interact with the key pharmacophores and putative ATP-binding domains of TßRI and TßRII, showing the potential of OVA as an inhibitor of TßRI and TßRII kinase. In conclusion, the dual function of OVA highlights its potential for not only fighting SARS-CoV-2 infection but also managing injury-induced pulmonary fibrosis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diterpenes , Pulmonary Fibrosis , Humans , Mice , Animals , Pulmonary Fibrosis/chemically induced , Pulmonary Fibrosis/drug therapy , Pulmonary Fibrosis/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Lung , Diterpenes/adverse effects , Bleomycin/pharmacology , Transforming Growth Factor beta/metabolism , Transforming Growth Factor beta1/metabolism , Fibroblasts , Signal Transduction
5.
Int J Mol Sci ; 24(4)2023 Feb 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2271366

ABSTRACT

In vitro airway models are increasingly important for pathomechanistic analyses of respiratory diseases. Existing models are limited in their validity by their incomplete cellular complexity. We therefore aimed to generate a more complex and meaningful three-dimensional (3D) airway model. Primary human bronchial epithelial cells (hbEC) were propagated in airway epithelial cell growth (AECG) or PneumaCult ExPlus medium. Generating 3D models, hbEC were airlifted and cultured on a collagen matrix with donor-matched bronchial fibroblasts for 21 days comparing two media (AECG or PneumaCult ALI (PC ALI)). 3D models were characterized by histology and immunofluorescence staining. The epithelial barrier function was quantified by transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) measurements. The presence and function of ciliated epithelium were determined by Western blot and microscopy with high-speed camera. In 2D cultures, an increased number of cytokeratin 14-positive hbEC was present with AECG medium. In 3D models, AECG medium accounted for high proliferation, resulting in hypertrophic epithelium and fluctuating TEER values. Models cultured with PC ALI medium developed a functional ciliated epithelium with a stable epithelial barrier. Here, we established a 3D model with high in vivo-in vitro correlation, which has the potential to close the translational gap for investigations of the human respiratory epithelium in pharmacological, infectiological, and inflammatory research.


Subject(s)
Bronchi , Epithelial Cells , Humans , Cell Culture Techniques, Three Dimensional , Culture Media , Fibroblasts , Cells, Cultured
6.
Int J Mol Sci ; 24(3)2023 Jan 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2270278

ABSTRACT

One strategy in caries prevention is to inhibit the formation of cariogenic biofilms. Attempts are being made to develop oral hygiene products enriched with various antimicrobial agents. One of them is lactoperoxidase-an enzyme that can oxidise (pseudo)halide ions to reactive products with antimicrobial activity. Currently, commercially available products utilise thiocyanate as a substrate; however, several alternatives that are oxidised to products with greater antimicrobial potential have been found. In this study, toxicity against human gingival fibroblasts of the lactoperoxidase system was evaluated using four different (pseudo)halide substrate systems-thiocyanate, iodide, selenocyanate, and a mixture of thiocyanate and iodide. For this purpose, cells were treated with the systems and then apoptosis, cell cycle, intracellular glutathione concentration, and mitochondrial superoxide production were assessed. The results showed that each system, after generating 250 µM of the product, inhibited cell divisions, increased apoptosis, and increased the percentage of dead cells. It was concluded that the mechanism of the observed phenomena was not related to increased superoxide production or the depletion of glutathione concentration. These findings emphasised the need for the further in vitro and in vivo toxicity investigation of the modified lactoperoxidase system to assess its safety and the possibility of use in oral hygiene products.


Subject(s)
Lactoperoxidase , Thiocyanates , Humans , Fibroblasts/metabolism , Hydrogen Peroxide/pharmacology , Iodides/metabolism , Lactoperoxidase/metabolism , Superoxides , Thiocyanates/pharmacology , Gingiva/metabolism
7.
Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol ; 69(1): 45-56, 2023 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2269396

ABSTRACT

Progressive pulmonary fibrosis results from a dysfunctional tissue repair response and is characterized by fibroblast proliferation, activation, and invasion and extracellular matrix accumulation. Lung fibroblast heterogeneity is well recognized. With single-cell RNA sequencing, fibroblast subtypes have been reported by recent studies. However, the roles of fibroblast subtypes in effector functions in lung fibrosis are not well understood. In this study, we incorporated the recently published single-cell RNA-sequencing datasets on murine lung samples of fibrosis models and human lung samples of fibrotic diseases and analyzed fibroblast gene signatures. We identified and confirmed the novel fibroblast subtypes we reported recently across all samples of both mouse models and human lung fibrotic diseases, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, systemic sclerosis-associated interstitial lung disease, and coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Furthermore, we identified specific cell surface proteins for each fibroblast subtype through differential gene expression analysis, which enabled us to isolate primary cells representing distinct fibroblast subtypes by flow cytometry sorting. We compared matrix production, including fibronectin, collagen, and hyaluronan, after profibrotic factor stimulation and assessed the invasive capacity of each fibroblast subtype. Our results suggest that in addition to myofibroblasts, lipofibroblasts and Ebf1+ (Ebf transcription factor 1+) fibroblasts are two important fibroblast subtypes that contribute to matrix deposition and also have enhanced invasive, proliferative, and contraction phenotypes. The histological locations of fibroblast subtypes are identified in healthy and fibrotic lungs by these cell surface proteins. This study provides new insights to inform approaches to targeting lung fibroblast subtypes to promote the development of therapeutics for lung fibrosis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis , Humans , Mice , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , Fibroblasts/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/pathology , Fibrosis , Membrane Proteins/metabolism
8.
Sci Rep ; 13(1): 2128, 2023 02 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2267535

ABSTRACT

Lung fibrosis, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, is an intractable disease accompanied by an irreversible dysfunction in the respiratory system. Its pathogenesis involves the transforming growth factorß (TGFß)-induced overproduction of the extracellular matrix from fibroblasts; however, limited countermeasures have been established. In this study, we identified osa-miR172d-5p, a plant-derived microRNA (miR), as a potent anti-fibrotic miR. In silico analysis followed by an in vitro assay based on human lung fibroblasts demonstrated that osa-miR172d-5p suppressed the gene expression of TGF-ß activated kinase 1 (MAP3K7) binding protein 1 (Tab1). It also suppressed the TGFß-induced fibrotic gene expression in human lung fibroblasts. To assess the anti-fibrotic effect of osa-miR172d-5p, we established bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis models to demonstrate that osa-miR172d-5p ameliorated lung fibrosis. Moreover, it suppressed Tab1 expression in the lung tissues of bleomycin-treated mice. In conclusion, osa-miR172d-5p could be a potent candidate for the treatment of lung fibrosis, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.


Subject(s)
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis , MicroRNAs , Humans , Mice , Animals , MicroRNAs/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/chemically induced , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/genetics , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/metabolism , Fibrosis , Bleomycin/toxicity , Bleomycin/metabolism , Fibroblasts/metabolism , Transforming Growth Factor beta/metabolism , Transforming Growth Factor beta1/metabolism , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/genetics , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/metabolism
9.
J Biol Chem ; 299(3): 102922, 2023 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2233850

ABSTRACT

Among the novel mutations distinguishing SARS-CoV-2 from similar coronaviruses is a K403R substitution in the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the viral spike (S) protein within its S1 region. This amino acid substitution occurs near the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2-binding interface and gives rise to a canonical RGD adhesion motif that is often found in native extracellular matrix proteins, including fibronectin. Here, the ability of recombinant S1-RBD to bind to cell surface integrins and trigger downstream signaling pathways was assessed and compared with RGD-containing, integrin-binding fragments of fibronectin. We determined that S1-RBD supported adhesion of fibronectin-null mouse embryonic fibroblasts as well as primary human small airway epithelial cells, while RBD-coated microparticles attached to epithelial monolayers in a cation-dependent manner. Cell adhesion to S1-RBD was RGD dependent and inhibited by blocking antibodies against αv and ß3 but not α5 or ß1 integrins. Similarly, we observed direct binding of S1-RBD to recombinant human αvß3 and αvß6 integrins, but not α5ß1 integrins, using surface plasmon resonance. S1-RBD adhesion initiated cell spreading, focal adhesion formation, and actin stress fiber organization to a similar extent as fibronectin. Moreover, S1-RBD stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of the adhesion mediators FAK, Src, and paxillin; triggered Akt activation; and supported cell proliferation. Thus, the RGD sequence of S1-RBD can function as an αv-selective integrin agonist. This study provides evidence that cell surface αv-containing integrins can respond functionally to spike protein and raises the possibility that S1-mediated dysregulation of extracellular matrix dynamics may contribute to the pathogenesis and/or post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Integrin alphaV , Animals , Humans , Mice , Cell Adhesion/physiology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/pathology , Fibroblasts/metabolism , Fibronectins/metabolism , Integrin alpha5beta1/genetics , Integrin alpha5beta1/metabolism , Integrin alphaV/metabolism , Oligopeptides , Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
10.
PLoS Biol ; 21(2): e3001967, 2023 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2232701

ABSTRACT

Although ACE2 is the primary receptor for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, a systematic assessment of host factors that regulate binding to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein has not been described. Here, we use whole-genome CRISPR activation to identify host factors controlling cellular interactions with SARS-CoV-2. Our top hit was a TLR-related cell surface receptor called leucine-rich repeat-containing protein 15 (LRRC15). LRRC15 expression was sufficient to promote SARS-CoV-2 spike binding where they form a cell surface complex. LRRC15 mRNA is expressed in human collagen-producing lung myofibroblasts and LRRC15 protein is induced in severe Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection where it can be found lining the airways. Mechanistically, LRRC15 does not itself support SARS-CoV-2 infection, but fibroblasts expressing LRRC15 can suppress both pseudotyped and authentic SARS-CoV-2 infection in trans. Moreover, LRRC15 expression in fibroblasts suppresses collagen production and promotes expression of IFIT, OAS, and MX-family antiviral factors. Overall, LRRC15 is a novel SARS-CoV-2 spike-binding receptor that can help control viral load and regulate antiviral and antifibrotic transcriptional programs in the context of COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , COVID-19/genetics , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Fibroblasts/metabolism , Protein Binding , Membrane Proteins/genetics , Membrane Proteins/metabolism
11.
Clin Immunol ; 247: 109240, 2023 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2177623

ABSTRACT

Kruppel-like factor 2 (KLF2) has been linked with fibrosis and neutrophil-associated thromboinflammation; however, its role in COVID-19 remains elusive. We investigated the effect of disease microenvironment on the fibrotic potential of human lung fibroblasts (LFs) and its association with KLF2 expression. LFs stimulated with plasma from severe COVID-19 patients down-regulated KLF2 expression at mRNA/protein and functional level acquiring a pre-fibrotic phenotype, as indicated by increased CCN2/collagen levels. Pre-incubation with the COMBI-treatment-agents (DNase I and JAKs/IL-6 inhibitors baricitinib/tocilizumab) restored KLF2 levels of LFs to normal abolishing their fibrotic activity. LFs stimulated with plasma from COMBI-treated patients at day-7 expressed lower CCN2 and higher KLF2 levels, compared to plasma prior-to-treatment, an effect not observed in standard-of-care treatment. In line with this, COMBI-treated patients had better outcome than standard-of-care group. These data link fibroblast KLF2 with NETosis and JAK/IL-6 signaling, suggesting the potential of combined therapeutic strategies in immunofibrotic diseases, such as COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors , Thrombosis , Humans , Down-Regulation , Fibroblasts/metabolism , Fibrosis , Inflammation , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors/genetics , Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors/metabolism , Lung/metabolism , Transcription Factors/genetics
12.
Molecules ; 28(2)2023 Jan 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2200545

ABSTRACT

Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is one of the sequelae of Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), and currently, lung transplantation is the only viable treatment option. Hence, other effective treatments are urgently required. We investigated the therapeutic effects of an approved botanical drug, cepharanthine (CEP), in a cell culture model of transforming growth factor-ß1 (TGF-ß1) and bleomycin (BLM)-induced pulmonary fibrosis rat models both in vitro and in vivo. In this study, CEP and pirfenidone (PFD) suppressed BLM-induced lung tissue inflammation, proliferation of blue collagen fibers, and damage to lung structures in vivo. Furthermore, we also found increased collagen deposition marked by α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and Collagen Type I Alpha 1 (COL1A1), which was significantly alleviated by the addition of PFD and CEP. Moreover, we elucidated the underlying mechanism of CEP against PF in vitro. Various assays confirmed that CEP reduced the viability and migration and promoted apoptosis of myofibroblasts. The expression levels of myofibroblast markers, including COL1A1, vimentin, α-SMA, and Matrix Metallopeptidase 2 (MMP2), were also suppressed by CEP. Simultaneously, CEP significantly suppressed the elevated Phospho-NF-κB p65 (p-p65)/NF-κB p65 (p65) ratio, NOD-like receptor thermal protein domain associated protein 3 (NLRP3) levels, and elevated inhibitor of NF-κB Alpha (IκBα) degradation and reversed the progression of PF. Hence, our study demonstrated that CEP prevented myofibroblast activation and treated BLM-induced pulmonary fibrosis in a dose-dependent manner by regulating nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB)/ NLRP3 signaling, thereby suggesting that CEP has potential clinical application in pulmonary fibrosis in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pulmonary Fibrosis , Animals , Rats , Bleomycin , Collagen/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Fibroblasts/metabolism , Inflammation/metabolism , Lung , Myofibroblasts/metabolism , NF-kappa B/metabolism , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/metabolism , Pulmonary Fibrosis/chemically induced , Pulmonary Fibrosis/drug therapy , Pulmonary Fibrosis/metabolism , Transforming Growth Factor beta1/metabolism
13.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(19)2022 Sep 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2066119

ABSTRACT

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive interstitial fibrotic disease that leads to disability and death within 5 years of diagnosis. Pulmonary fibrosis is a disease with a multifactorial etiology. The concept of aberrant regeneration of the pulmonary epithelium reveals the pathogenesis of IPF, according to which repeated damage and death of alveolar epithelial cells is the main mechanism leading to the development of progressive IPF. Cell death provokes the migration, proliferation and activation of fibroblasts, which overproduce extracellular matrix, resulting in fibrotic deformity of the lung tissue. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and extracellular vesicles (EVs) are promising therapies for pulmonary fibrosis. MSCs, and EVs derived from MSCs, modulate the activity of immune cells, inhibit the expression of profibrotic genes, reduce collagen deposition and promote the repair of damaged lung tissue. This review considers the molecular mechanisms of the development of IPF and the multifaceted role of MSCs in the therapy of IPF. Currently, EVs-MSCs are regarded as a promising cell-free therapy tool, so in this review we discuss the results available to date of the use of EVs-MSCs for lung tissue repair.


Subject(s)
Extracellular Vesicles , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis , Mesenchymal Stem Cells , Extracellular Vesicles/metabolism , Fibroblasts/metabolism , Humans , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/genetics , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/therapy , Lung/pathology , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/metabolism
14.
Adv Mater ; 34(41): e2205083, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2007087

ABSTRACT

Lung fibrosis, one of the major post-COVID complications, is a progressive and ultimately fatal disease without a cure. Here, an organ- and disease-specific in vitro mini-lung fibrosis model equipped with noninvasive real-time monitoring of cell mechanics is introduced as a functional readout. To establish an intricate multiculture model under physiologic conditions, a biomimetic ultrathin basement (biphasic elastic thin for air-liquid culture conditions, BETA) membrane (<1 µm) is developed with unique properties, including biocompatibility, permeability, and high elasticity (<10 kPa) for cell culturing under air-liquid interface and cyclic mechanical stretch conditions. The human-based triple coculture fibrosis model, which includes epithelial and endothelial cell lines combined with primary fibroblasts from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients established on the BETA membrane, is integrated into a millifluidic bioreactor system (cyclic in vitro cell-stretch, CIVIC) with dose-controlled aerosolized drug delivery, mimicking inhalation therapy. The real-time measurement of cell/tissue stiffness (and compliance) is shown as a clinical biomarker of the progression/attenuation of fibrosis upon drug treatment, which is confirmed for inhaled Nintedanib-an antifibrosis drug. The mini-lung fibrosis model allows the combined longitudinal testing of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of drugs, which is expected to enhance the predictive capacity of preclinical models and hence facilitate the development of approved therapies for lung fibrosis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis , Basement Membrane/metabolism , Fibroblasts/metabolism , Fibrosis , Humans , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/drug therapy , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/metabolism
15.
Pharmacol Res Perspect ; 10(4): e00997, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1990536

ABSTRACT

In the process of pharmacology education, practical teaching is an important complement to theoretical teaching. These activities include the use of experimental animals to obtain certain pharmacological parameters or to help students understand certain classical concepts. However, the growing interest in laboratory animal welfare, the rapid development of pharmacology research and the challenges of cultivating innovative pharmacy talent create a need for innovative and flexible in vitro experiments for teaching purposes. Here, we report the application of positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of 18 F-labeled fibroblast activation protein inhibitor (18 F-FAPi) to practical pharmacology teaching, enabling dynamic visualization of the distribution and excretion process of FAPi in mice. Students can quantitatively analyze the distribution of FAPi in various tissues and organs without sacrificing the mice. Furthermore, the newly implemented method resulted in highly reproducible results and was generally appreciated by the students. Additionally, the application of PET imaging in pharmacokinetic teaching can not only greatly reduce the use of experimental animals but also need not sacrificing animals. Of note is that dynamic scanning data from this project can be used for online practical teaching during COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Animals , Fibroblasts/metabolism , Humans , Membrane Proteins/metabolism , Mice , Positron-Emission Tomography , Tissue Distribution
16.
Front Immunol ; 13: 921728, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1987494

ABSTRACT

Fibroblasts of different origins are known to possess stromal memory after inflammatory episodes. However, there are no studies exploring human lung fibroblast memory which may predict a subsequent inflammatory response in chronic respiratory diseases and COVID-19. MRC-5 and HF19 human lung fibroblast cell lines were treated using different primary and secondary stimulus combinations: TNFα-WD-TNFα, Poly (I:C)-WD-TNFα, TNFα-WD-Poly (I:C), or LPS-WD-TNFα with a 24-h rest period (withdrawal period; WD) between the two 24-h stimulations. TLR3 and NF-κB inhibitors were used to determine pathways involved. The effect of SARS-Cov-2 spike protein to inflammatory response of lung fibroblasts was also investigated. mRNA expressions of genes and IL6 release were measured using qRT-PCR and ELISA, respectively. Statistical significance was determined by using one- or two-way ANOVA, followed by Bonferroni's post hoc analysis for comparison of multiple groups. Preexposure with Poly (I:C) significantly increased TNFα-induced IL6 gene expression and IL6 release in both cell lines, while it affected neither gene expressions of IL1B, IL2, IL8, and MMP8 nor fibrosis-related genes: ACTA2, COL1A1, POSTN, and TGFB1. Inhibition of TLR3 or NF-κB during primary stimulation significantly downregulated IL6 release. Simultaneous treatment of MRC-5 cells with SARS-CoV-2 spike protein further increased TNFα-induced IL6 release; however, preexposure to Poly (I:C) did not affect it. Human lung fibroblasts are capable of retaining inflammatory memory and showed an augmented response upon secondary exposure. These results may contribute to the possibility of training human lung fibroblasts to respond suitably on inflammatory episodes after viral infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interleukin-6/genetics , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha , Fibroblasts/metabolism , Gene Expression , Humans , Inflammation/chemically induced , Inflammation/genetics , Inflammation/metabolism , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Lung/metabolism , NF-kappa B/metabolism , Poly I-C/metabolism , Poly I-C/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Toll-Like Receptor 3/genetics , Toll-Like Receptor 3/metabolism , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism
17.
Cells ; 11(10)2022 05 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1957233

ABSTRACT

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive and fatal lung disease with limited therapeutic options, and there is a huge unmet need for new therapies. A growing body of evidence suggests that the histone deacetylase (HDAC) family of transcriptional corepressors has emerged as crucial mediators of IPF pathogenesis. HDACs deacetylate histones and result in chromatin condensation and epigenetic repression of gene transcription. HDACs also catalyse the deacetylation of many non-histone proteins, including transcription factors, thus also leading to changes in the transcriptome and cellular signalling. Increased HDAC expression is associated with cell proliferation, cell growth and anti-apoptosis and is, thus, a salient feature of many cancers. In IPF, induction and abnormal upregulation of Class I and Class II HDAC enzymes in myofibroblast foci, as well as aberrant bronchiolar epithelium, is an eminent observation, whereas type-II alveolar epithelial cells (AECII) of IPF lungs indicate a significant depletion of many HDACs. We thus suggest that the significant imbalance of HDAC activity in IPF lungs, with a "cancer-like" increase in fibroblastic and bronchial cells versus a lack in AECII, promotes and perpetuates fibrosis. This review focuses on the mechanisms by which Class I and Class II HDACs mediate fibrogenesis and on the mechanisms by which various HDAC inhibitors reverse the deregulated epigenetic responses in IPF, supporting HDAC inhibition as promising IPF therapy.


Subject(s)
Histone Deacetylases , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis , Fibroblasts/metabolism , Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Histone Deacetylases/metabolism , Histones/metabolism , Humans , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/pathology , Transcription Factors/metabolism
18.
Front Immunol ; 13: 888612, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1928420

ABSTRACT

HAPLN1 maintains aggregation and the binding activity of extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules (such as hyaluronic acid and proteoglycan) to stabilize the macromolecular structure of the ECM. An increase in HAPLN1 expression is observed in a few types of musculoskeletal diseases including rheumatoid arthritis (RA); however, its functions are obscure. This study examined the role of HAPLN1 in determining the viability, proliferation, mobility, and pro-inflammatory phenotype of RA- fibroblast-like synoviocytes (RA-FLSs) by using small interfering RNA (siHAPLN1), over-expression vector (HAPLN1OE), and a recombinant HAPLN1 (rHAPLN1) protein. HAPLN1 was found to promote proliferation but inhibit RA-FLS migration. Metformin, an AMPK activator, was previously found by us to be able to inhibit FLS activation but promote HAPLN1 secretion. In this study, we confirmed the up-regulation of HAPLN1 in RA patients, and found the positive relationship between HAPLN1 expression and the AMPK level. Treatment with either si-HAPLN1 or HAPLN1OE down-regulated the expression of AMPK-ɑ gene, although up-regulation of the level of p-AMPK-ɑ was observed in RA-FLSs. si-HAPLN1 down-regulated the expression of proinflammatory factors like TNF-ɑ, MMPs, and IL-6, while HAPLN1OE up-regulated their levels. qPCR assay indicated that the levels of TGF-ß, ACAN, fibronectin, collagen II, and Ki-67 were down-regulated upon si-HAPLN1 treatment, while HAPLN1OE treatment led to up-regulation of ACAN and Ki-67 and down-regulation of cyclin-D1. Proteomics of si-HAPLN1, rHAPLN1, and mRNA-Seq analysis of rHAPLN1 confirmed the functions of HAPLN1 in the activation of inflammation, proliferation, cell adhesion, and strengthening of ECM functions. Our results for the first time demonstrate the function of HAPLN1 in promoting the proliferation and pro-inflammatory phenotype of RA-FLSs, thereby contributing to RA pathogenesis. Future in-depth studies are required for better understanding the role of HAPLN1 in RA.


Subject(s)
Arthritis, Rheumatoid , Synoviocytes , AMP-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/metabolism , Cell Proliferation , Cell Survival/genetics , Extracellular Matrix Proteins , Fibroblasts/metabolism , Humans , Ki-67 Antigen/metabolism , Phenotype , Proteoglycans , Synoviocytes/metabolism
19.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 1758, 2022 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1886207

ABSTRACT

Fluorescence techniques dominate the field of live-cell microscopy, but bleaching and motion blur from too long integration times limit dynamic investigations of small objects. High contrast, label-free life-cell imaging of thousands of acquisitions at 160 nm resolution and 100 Hz is possible by Rotating Coherent Scattering (ROCS) microscopy, where intensity speckle patterns from all azimuthal illumination directions are added up within 10 ms. In combination with fluorescence, we demonstrate the performance of improved Total Internal Reflection (TIR)-ROCS with variable illumination including timescale decomposition and activity mapping at five different examples: millisecond reorganization of macrophage actin cortex structures, fast degranulation and pore opening in mast cells, nanotube dynamics between cardiomyocytes and fibroblasts, thermal noise driven binding behavior of virus-sized particles at cells, and, bacterial lectin dynamics at the cortex of lung cells. Using analysis methods we present here, we decipher how motion blur hides cellular structures and how slow structure motions cover decisive fast motions.


Subject(s)
Actins , Lighting , Fibroblasts , Microscopy, Fluorescence/methods
20.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(9)2022 May 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1847345

ABSTRACT

Fibrosis of extraocular muscles (EOMs) is a marker of end-stage in Graves' orbitopathy (GO). To determine the antifibrotic and anti-inflammatory therapeutic effects and the underlying molecular mechanisms of disulfiram (DSF) on perimysial orbital fibroblasts (pOFs) in a GO model in vitro, primary cultures of pOFs from eight patients with GO and six subjects without GO (NG) were established. CCK-8 and EdU assays, IF, qPCR, WB, three-dimensional collagen gel contraction assays, cell scratch experiments, and ELISAs were performed. After TGF-ß1 stimulation of pOFs, the proliferation rate of the GO group but not the NG group increased significantly. DSF dose-dependently inhibited the proliferation, contraction, and migration of pOFs in the GO group. Additionally, DSF dose-dependently inhibited fibrosis and extracellular matrix production markers (FN1, COL1A1, α-SMA, CTGF) at the mRNA and protein levels. Furthermore, DSF mediates antifibrotic effects on GO pOFs partially through the ERK-Snail signaling pathway. In addition, DSF attenuated HA production and suppressed inflammatory chemokine molecule expression induced by TGF-ß1 in GO pOFs. In this in vitro study, we demonstrate the inhibitory effect of DSF on pOFs fibrosis in GO, HA production, and inflammation. DSF may be a potential drug candidate for preventing and treating tissue fibrosis in GO.


Subject(s)
Graves Ophthalmopathy , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/pharmacology , Cells, Cultured , Disulfiram/metabolism , Disulfiram/pharmacology , Fibroblasts/metabolism , Fibrosis , Graves Ophthalmopathy/drug therapy , Graves Ophthalmopathy/metabolism , Humans , Transforming Growth Factor beta1/metabolism
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