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06 July 2016 : Laboratory Research  

Thymic Stromal Lymphopoietin Promotes Fibrosis and Activates Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases in MRC-5 Cells

Li LiBCD, Su TangBCD, Xiaodong TangABEF

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.896390

Med Sci Monit 2016; 22:2357-2362

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Acute lung injury (ALI) is a life-threatening hypoxemic respiratory disorder with high incidence and mortality. ALI usually manifests as widespread inflammation and lung fibrosis with the accumulation of pro-inflammatory and pro-fibrotic factors and collagen. Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) has a significant role in regulation of inflammation but little is known about its roles in lung fibrosis or ALI. This study aimed to define the role and possible regulatory mechanism of TSLP in lung fibrosis.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: We cultured human lung fibroblast MRC-5 cells and overexpressed or inhibited TSLP by the vector or small interfering RNA transfection. Then, the pro-fibrotic factors skeletal muscle actin alpha (α-SMA) and collagen I, and the 4 mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) – MAPK7, p38, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 (ERK1), and c-Jun N-terminal kinase 1 (JNK1) – were detected by Western blot.

RESULTS: Results showed that TSLP promoted the production of α-SMA and collagen I (P<0.001), suggesting that it can accelerate MRC-5 cell fibrosis. It also activated the expression of MAPK7, p-p38, p-ERK1, and p-JNK1, but the total MAPK7, p-38, ERK1, and JNK1 protein levels were mostly unchanged, indicating the activated MAPK pathways that might contribute to the promotion of cell fibrosis.

CONCLUSIONS: This study shows the pro-fibrotic role of TSLP in MRC-5 cells, suggesting TSLP is a potential therapeutic target for treating lung fibrosis in ALI. It possibly functions via activating MAPKs. These findings add to our understanding of the mechanism of fibrosis.

Keywords: Cell Line, Acute Lung Injury - pathology, Cells, Cultured, Cytokines - metabolism, Fibroblasts - pathology, Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases - metabolism, Phosphorylation, Pulmonary Fibrosis - pathology, p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases - metabolism

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750