Epithelial cell-derived cytokines CST3 and GDF15 as potential therapeutics for pulmonary fibrosis article

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While wound healing is completed, the epithelium functions to normalize the interstitial context by eliminating fibroblasts excited during matrix reconstruction. If not, tissues undergo pathologic fibrosis. Pulmonary fibrosis is a fatal and hardly curable disorder. We here tried to identify epithelium-derived cytokines capable of ameliorating pulmonary fibrosis. Human lung fibroblasts were inactivated in epithelial cell-conditioned media. Cystatin C (CST3) and growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15) were found to be enriched in the conditioned media and to inhibit the growth and activation of lung fibroblasts by inactivating the TGF-Smad pathway. In mouse and human lungs with interstitial fibrosis, CST3 and GDF15 expressions were markedly reduced, and the restoration of these cytokines alleviated the fibrotic changes in mouse lungs. These results suggest that CST3 and GDF15 are bona fide regulators to prevent excessive proliferation and activation of fibroblasts in injured lungs. These cytokines could be potential therapeutics for ameliorating interstitial lung fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number506
JournalCell Death and Disease
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2018


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