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Regulation of Transforming Growth Factor-beta 1-driven Lung Fibrosis by Galectin-3

Lookup NU author(s): Professor John Simpson

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Abstract

Rationale: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic dysregulated response to alveolar epithelial injury with differentiation of epithelial cells and fibroblasts into matrix-secreting myofibroblasts resulting in lung scaring. The prognosis is poor and there are no effective therapies or reliable biomarkers. Galectin-3 is a beta-galactoside binding lectin that is highly expressed in fibrotic tissue of diverse etiologies. Objectives: To examine the role of galectin-3 in pulmonary fibrosis. Methods: We used genetic deletion and pharmacologic inhibition in well-characterized murine models of lung fibrosis. Further mechanistic studies were performed in vitro and on samples from patients with IPF. Measurements and Main Results: Transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta and bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis was dramatically reduced in mice deficient in galectin-3, manifest by reduced TGF-beta 1 induced EMT and myofibroblast activation and collagen production. Galectin-3 reduced phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of beta-catenin but had no effect on Smad2/3 phosphorylation. A novel inhibitor of galectin -3, TD139, blocked TGF-beta-induced beta-catenin activation in vitro and in vivo and attenuated the late-stage progression of lung fibrosis after bleomycin. There was increased expression of galectin-3 in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and serum from patients with stable IPF compared with nonspecific interstitial pneumonitis and controls, which rose sharply during an acute exacerbation suggesting that. galectin-3 may be a marker of active fibrosis in IPF and that strategies that block galectin-3 may be effective in treating acute fibrotic exacerbations of IPF. Conclusions: This study identifies galectin-3 as an important regulator of lung fibrosis and provides a proof of principle for galectin-3 inhibition as a potential novel therapeutic strategy for IPF.


Publication metadata

Author(s): MacKinnon AC, Gibbons MA, Farnworth SL, Leffler H, Nilsson UJ, Delaine T, Simpson AJ, Forbes SJ, Hirani N, Gauldie J, Sethi T

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine

Year: 2012

Volume: 185

Issue: 5

Pages: 537-546

Print publication date: 17/11/2011

ISSN (print): 1073-449X

ISSN (electronic): 1535-4970

Publisher: American Thoracic Society

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1164/rccm.201106-0965OC

DOI: 10.1164/rccm.201106-0965OC


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