Navigation Links
Study sheds light on deadly lung disease

Systemic sclerosis (SSc), also known as scleroderma, is characterized by the formation of fibrosis, or scar tissue, on internal organs as well as the skin. Beyond its disfiguring symptoms, SSc is associated with a high rate of deadly lung disease. Pulmonary fibrosis strikes at least one-third of SSc sufferers, and kills 30 percent within 10 years. Assessing and treating SSc remains challenging, despite recent clinical trials, due in part to an incomplete understanding of the origins and progression of this autoimmune disorder.

To add to the understanding of SSc, particularly as it relates to lung fibrosis, researchers with the Royal Free and University College Medical School and Royal Brompton Hospital in London conducted experiments on a novel mouse model of scleroderma. Their results, published in the April 2008 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism (, provide insight into extreme vulnerability to fibrosis associated with injury to alveolar epithelial cells (AECs)cells that line the tiny air sacs in the lungsaggravated by the expression of a major immune-system player, transforming growth factor (TGF ).

Led by Dr. Christopher P. Denton, the researchers generated a transgenic mouse strain, which develops ubiquitous skin and sporadic lung scar tissuecharacteristics similar to humans with SSc and pulmonary fibrosis. They then set out to test their hypothesis that these transgenic mice would be more susceptible than wild-type mice to lung disease. To induce minor lung injury, a single dose of either saline or the antibiotic bleomycina widely accepted model of SSc skin fibrosiswas administered surgically to populations of both transgenic and wild-type mice. Representatives from each mouse strain were left untreated to serve as controls. After 3, 7, 10, 14, 21, 35, and 60 days, lung samples were dissected and preserved for biochemical, histological, and electron microscopic analysis.

Transgenic mice consistently demonstrated an exaggerated fibrosis-proliferation response to minor lung injury. The lungs from transgenic mice given normal, unbuffered saline demonstrated fibrotic traits similar to lungs from wild-type mice injected with fibrosis-inducing bleomycin, indicating a very low threshold for epithelial injury in the transgenic strain. Among other notable findings, electron microscopy revealed AEC abnormalities in the lungs of transgenic controls and bleomycin-affected wild-type mice; the lungs of transgenic mice given bleomycin showed severe epithelial damage. The level of collagen was elevated in the lungs from transgenic mice after doses of either bleomycin or saline. After injury with bleomycin, the lungs of transgenic mice demonstrated increased density of the TGF protein, implicated in the formation of fibrosis as well as tissue inflammation. Persistent fibrosis in transgenic mice injured with bleomycin was found independent of inflammation, but associated with impaired alveolar epithelial repair.

These results suggest that in the context of fibroblast-specific perturbation of TGF signaling, even minor epithelial injury induces significant fibrosis, Dr. Denton concludes. The model supports a central role for TGF in determining fibrosis and demonstrates that lung fibroblasts may regulate the response of AECs to injury.

Despite its limitations, including the fact that animal models with targeted genetic manipulations cannot fully represent all the facets and factors in the associated human disease process, this novel mouse study contributes to the understanding of the pathogenesis of systemic sclerosis and pulmonary fibrosis. Whats more, it provides a valuable reference point and motivation for future studies into anti-fibrotic therapies.


Contact: Sean Wagner

Related medicine news :

1. NovoCure presents results from breast cancer pilot study
2. Mayo-led study finds smoking related to subset of colorectal cancers
3. National hospice study reveals gaps in service
4. Study Points to New Treatments for Polycystic Kidney Disease
5. MRI better than MDCT in detecting endoleaks, study says
6. Personality study shows risk of first depression episode late in life
7. 3T MRI plays significant role in detecting prostate cancer, study says
8. Study shows doctors offices can help stem abuse of Oxycontin, other narcotic painkillers
9. Quintiles Ranks First in Pan-European Clinical Investigator Study
10. Study Showed Minimally Invasive Surgery Reduced Risk of Hospital-Acquired Infections Compared to Open Surgery
11. NEJM study demonstrates carotid stenting with embolic protection is comparable to surgery
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by Whole ... enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from Chinese ... PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. Jessica ... Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include Mohs ... Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn Goldstein, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his Bachelors ... Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps Green ... hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to train ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent ... most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are ... many of these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) learned ... receive two significant new grants to support its work to advance research and ... by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in fighting pulmonary ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... date financial data derived from varied research sources to present ... impact on the market during the next five years, including ... sub markets, regional and country level analysis. The report provides ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... PARK RIDGE, Ill. and INDIANAPOLIS ... caliber of students receiving a Lilly Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders ... hands. The 2016 scholarship winners, announced today online at ... refused to let type 1 diabetes stand in the ... Lilly Diabetes has supported the Foundation,s scholarship program since ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ... (United States, China, Japan, Brazil, United Kingdom, Germany, France, ... Surgical Procedure Volumes: ... provides surgical procedure volume data in a geographic context. ... analysis of growth drivers and inhibitors, including world population ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: