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1.  Transcription Factor ets-2 Plays an Important Role in the Pathogenesis of Pulmonary Fibrosis 
Ets-2 is a ubiquitous transcription factor activated after phosphorylation at threonine-72. Previous studies highlighted the importance of phosphorylated ets-2 in lung inflammation and extracellular matrix remodeling, two pathways involved in pulmonary fibrosis. We hypothesized that phosphorylated ets-2 played an important role in pulmonary fibrosis, and we sought to determine the role of ets-2 in its pathogenesis. We challenged ets-2 (A72/A72) transgenic mice (harboring a mutated form of ets-2 at phosphorylation site threonine-72) and ets-2 (wild-type/wild-type [WT/WT]) control mice with sequential intraperitoneal injections of bleomycin, followed by quantitative measurements of lung fibrosis and inflammation and primary cell in vitro assays. Concentrations of phosphorylated ets-2 were detected via the single and dual immunohistochemical staining of murine lungs and lung sections from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Ets-2 (A72/A72) mice were protected from bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis, compared with ets-2 (WT/WT) mice. This protection was characterized by decreased lung pathological abnormalities and the fibrotic gene expression of Type I collagen, Type III collagen, α–smooth muscle actin, and connective tissue growth factor. Immunohistochemical staining of lung sections from bleomycin-treated ets-2 (WT/WT) mice and from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis demonstrated increased staining of phosphorylated ets-2 that colocalized with Type I collagen expression and to fibroblastic foci. Lastly, primary lung fibroblasts from ets-2 (A72/A72) mice exhibited decreased expression of Type I collagen in response to stimulation with TGF-β, compared with fibroblasts from ets-2 (WT/WT) mice. These data indicate the importance of phosphorylated ets-2 in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis through the expression of Type I collagen and (myo)fibroblast activation.
PMCID: PMC3262682  PMID: 21562315
ets-2; Type I collagen; pulmonary fibrosis; bleomycin; fibroblast
2.  Social disruption induces lung inflammation 
Brain, behavior, and immunity  2009;24(3):394-402.
Social disruption (SDR) is a well-characterized mouse stressor that causes changes in immune cell reactivity in response to inflammatory stimuli. In this study, we found that SDR in the absence of an immune challenge induced pulmonary inflammation and increased pulmonary myeloperoxidase activity. The percentage of neutrophils within the lungs increased 2-fold after social disruption. Monocyte accumulation in the lungs was also significantly increased. In addition, SDR increased the percentage of neutrophils that expressed CD11b, indicating that more neutrophils were in an activated state. In the lungs, we observed an increased level of the inflammatory cytokine, IL-1β, as well as higher levels of KC/CXCL1, MIP2/CXCL2, and MCP-1/CCL2, which are chemokines responsible for neutrophil and monocyte recruitment. Furthermore, social disruption led to increased lung expression of the adhesion molecules P-selectin, E-selectin, and ICAM-1, which localize and recruit immune cells. These data support previous findings of an inflammatory environment induced by SDR. We demonstrate that this effect also occurs in the pulmonary milieu and in the absence of an inflammatory stimulus.
PMCID: PMC2826531  PMID: 19903521
Innate immunity; social stress; psychoneuroimmunology; lung; inflammation; Social disruption (SDR)
3.  The Role of Inflammation in the Pathogenesis of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis 
Antioxidants & redox signaling  2008;10(2):287-301.
The role of inflammation in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is controversial. If inflammation were critical to the disease process, lung pathology would demonstrate an influx of inflammatory cells, and that the disease would respond to immunosuppression. Neither is true. The classic pathology does not display substantial inflammation, and no modulation of the immune system is effective as treatment. Recent data suggest that the pathophysiology of the disease is more a product of fibroblast dysfunction than of dysregulated inflammation. The role of inflammation in disease pathogenesis comes from pathology from atypical patients, biologic samples procured during exacerbations of the disease, and careful examination of biologic specimens from patients with stable disease. We suggest that inflammation is indeed a critical factor in IPF and propose five potential nontraditional mechanisms for the role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of IPF: the direct inflammatory hypothesis, the matrix hypothesis, the growth factor–receptor hypothesis, the plasticity hypothesis, and the vascular hypothesis. To address these, we review the literature exploring the differences in pathology, prognosis, and clinical course, as well as the role of cytokines, growth factors, and other mediators of inflammation, and last, the role of matrix and vascular supply in patients with IPF.
PMCID: PMC2737712  PMID: 17961066
4.  Important Roles for Macrophage Colony-stimulating Factor, CC Chemokine Ligand 2, and Mononuclear Phagocytes in the Pathogenesis of Pulmonary Fibrosis 
Rationale: An increase in the number of mononuclear phagocytes in lung biopsies from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) worsens prognosis. Chemokines that recruit mononuclear phagocytes, such as CC chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2), are elevated in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid (BALF) from patients with IPF. However, little attention is given to the role of the mononuclear phagocyte survival and recruitment factor, macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF), in pulmonary fibrosis.
Objectives: To investigate the role of mononuclear phagocytes and M-CSF in pulmonary fibrosis.
Methods: Wild-type, M-CSF−/−, or CCL2−/− mice received intraperitoneal bleomycin. Lung inflammation and fibrosis were measured by immunohistochemistry, ELISA, collagen assay, BAL differentials, real-time polymerase chain reaction, and Western blot analysis. Human and mouse macrophages were stimulated with M-CSF for CCL2 expression. BALF from patients with IPF was examined for M-CSF and CCL2.
Measurements and Main Results: M-CSF−/− and CCL2−/− mice had less lung fibrosis, mononuclear phagocyte recruitment, collagen deposition, and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) expression after bleomycin administration than wild-type littermates. Human and mouse macrophages stimulated with M-CSF had increased CCL2 production, and intratracheal administration of M-CSF in mice induced CCL2 production in BALF. Finally, BALF from patients with IPF contained significantly more M-CSF and CCL2 than BALF from normal volunteers. Elevated levels of M-CSF were associated with elevated CCL2 in BALF and the diagnosis of IPF.
Conclusions: These data suggest that M-CSF contributes to the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis in mice and in patients with IPF through the involvement of mononuclear phagocytes and CCL2 production.
PMCID: PMC2049062  PMID: 17431224
bleomycin; CC chemokine ligand 2; macrophage colony-stimulating factor; mononuclear phagocytes; pulmonary fibrosis

Results 1-4 (4)