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1.  Future Directions in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Research. An NHLBI Workshop Report 
The median survival of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) continues to be approximately 3 years from the time of diagnosis, underscoring the lack of effective medical therapies for this disease. In the United States alone, approximately 40,000 patients die of this disease annually. In November 2012, the NHLBI held a workshop aimed at coordinating research efforts and accelerating the development of IPF therapies. Basic, translational, and clinical researchers gathered with representatives from the NHLBI, patient advocacy groups, pharmaceutical companies, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to review the current state of IPF research and identify priority areas, opportunities for collaborations, and directions for future research. The workshop was organized into groups that were tasked with assessing and making recommendations to promote progress in one of the following six critical areas of research: (1) biology of alveolar epithelial injury and aberrant repair; (2) role of extracellular matrix; (3) preclinical modeling; (4) role of inflammation and immunity; (5) genetic, epigenetic, and environmental determinants; (6) translation of discoveries into diagnostics and therapeutics. The workshop recommendations provide a basis for directing future research and strategic planning by scientific, professional, and patient communities and the NHLBI.
doi:10.1164/rccm.201306-1141WS
PMCID: PMC3983890  PMID: 24160862
idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; alveolar epithelial cells; extracellular matrix; interstitial lung disease; inflammation
2.  A Placebo-Controlled Randomized Trial of Warfarin in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis 
Rationale: Animal and human studies support the importance of the coagulation cascade in pulmonary fibrosis.
Objectives: In a cohort of subjects with progressive idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), we tested the hypothesis that treatment with warfarin at recognized therapeutic doses would reduce rates of mortality, hospitalization, and declines in FVC.
Methods: This was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of warfarin targeting an international normalized ratio of 2.0 to 3.0 in patients with IPF. Subjects were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to warfarin or matching placebo for a planned treatment period of 48 weeks. International normalized ratios were monitored using encrypted home point-of-care devices that allowed blinding of study therapy.
Measurements and Main Results: The primary outcome measure was the composite outcome of time to death, hospitalization (nonbleeding, nonelective), or a 10% or greater absolute decline in FVC. Due to a low probability of benefit and an increase in mortality observed in the subjects randomized to warfarin (14 warfarin versus 3 placebo deaths; P = 0.005) an independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board recommended stopping the study after 145 of the planned 256 subjects were enrolled (72 warfarin, 73 placebo). The mean follow-up was 28 weeks.
Conclusions: This study did not show a benefit for warfarin in the treatment of patients with progressive IPF. Treatment with warfarin was associated with an increased risk of mortality in an IPF population who lacked other indications for anticoagulation.
Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT00957242).
doi:10.1164/rccm.201202-0314OC
PMCID: PMC3400994  PMID: 22561965
idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; clinical trial; warfarin; anticoagulation
3.  Negative regulation of myofibroblast differentiation by phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome ten 
Rationale: Myofibroblasts are primary effector cells in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Defining mechanisms of myofibroblast differentiation may be critical to the development of novel therapeutic agents. Objective: To show that myofibroblast differentiation is regulated by phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) activity in vivo and to identify a potential mechanism by which this occurs. Methods: We utilized tissue sections of surgical lung biopsies from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis to localize expression of PTEN and α-SMA. We utilized cell culture of pten-/- and wild-type fibroblasts as well as adenoviral strategies and pharmacologic inhibitors to determine the mechanism by which PTEN inhibits α-SMA, fibroblast proliferation, and collagen production. Results: In human lung specimens of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, myofibroblasts within fibroblastic foci demonstrate diminished PTEN expression. Further, inhibition of PTEN in mice worsened bleomycin-induced fibrosis. In pten-/- fibroblasts, and in normal fibroblasts in which PTEN is inhibited, α-SMA, proliferation, and collagen production is upregulated. Addition of transforming growth factor-β to wild-type cells, but not pten-/- cells, results in increased α-SMA expression in a time-dependent fashion. In pten-/- cells, reconstitution of PTEN decreases α-SMA expression, proliferation, and collagen production, whereas overexpression of PTEN in wild-type cells inhibits transforming growth factor-β-induced myofibroblast differentiation. Both the protein and lipid phosphatase actions of PTEN are capable of modulating the myofibroblast phenotype. Conclusions: The results indicate that in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, myofibroblasts have diminished PTEN expression. Inhibition of PTEN in vivo promotes fibrosis, and PTEN inhibits myofibroblast differentiation in vitro.
doi:10.1164/rccm.200507-1058OC
PMCID: PMC1434700  PMID: 16179636
myofibroblast; fibrosis; PTEN; phosphatase; smooth muscle actin
4.  Negative Regulation of Myofibroblast Differentiation by PTEN (Phosphatase and Tensin Homolog Deleted on Chromosome 10) 
Rationale: Myofibroblasts are primary effector cells in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Defining mechanisms of myofibroblast differentiation may be critical to the development of novel therapeutic agents.
Objective: To show that myofibroblast differentiation is regulated by phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) activity in vivo, and to identify a potential mechanism by which this occurs.
Methods: We used tissue sections of surgical lung biopsies from patients with IPF to localize expression of PTEN and α–smooth muscle actin (α-SMA). We used cell culture of pten−/− and wild-type fibroblasts, as well as adenoviral strategies and pharmacologic inhibitors, to determine the mechanism by which PTEN inhibits α-SMA, fibroblast proliferation, and collagen production.
Results: In human lung specimens of IPF, myofibroblasts within fibroblastic foci demonstrated diminished PTEN expression. Furthermore, inhibition of PTEN in mice worsened bleomycin-induced fibrosis. In pten−/− fibroblasts, and in normal fibroblasts in which PTEN was inhibited, α-SMA, proliferation, and collagen production was upregulated. Addition of transforming growth factor-β to wild-type cells, but not pten−/− cells, resulted in increased α-SMA expression in a time-dependent fashion. In pten−/− cells, reconstitution of PTEN decreased α-SMA expression, proliferation, and collagen production, whereas overexpression of PTEN in wild-type cells inhibited transforming growth factor-β–induced myofibroblast differentiation. It was observed that both the protein and lipid phosphatase actions of PTEN were capable of modulating the myofibroblast phenotype.
Conclusions: The results indicate that in IPF, myofibroblasts have diminished PTEN expression. Inhibition of PTEN in vivo promotes fibrosis, and PTEN inhibits myofibroblast differentiation in vitro.
doi:10.1164/rccm.200507-1058OC
PMCID: PMC1434700  PMID: 16179636
fibrosis; myofibroblast; phosphatase; PTEN; smooth muscle actin
5.  Clinical Predictors of a Diagnosis of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis 
Rationale: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and other idiopathic interstitial pneumonias (IIPs) have similar clinical and radiographic features, but their histopathology, response to therapy, and natural history differ. A surgical lung biopsy is often required to distinguish between these entities.
Objectives: We sought to determine if clinical variables could predict a histopathologic diagnosis of IPF in patients without honeycomb change on high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT).
Methods: Data from 97 patients with biopsy-proven IPF and 38 patients with other IIPs were examined. Logistic regression models were built to identify the clinical variables that predict histopathologic diagnosis of IPF.
Measurements and Main Results: Increasing age and average total HRCT interstitial score on HRCT scan of the chest may predict a biopsy confirmation of IPF. Sex, pulmonary function, presence of desaturation, or distance walked during a 6-minute walk test did not help discriminate pulmonary fibrosis from other IIPs.
Conclusions: Clinical data may be used to predict a diagnosis of IPF over other IIPs. Validation of these data with a prospective study is needed.
doi:10.1164/rccm.200906-0959OC
PMCID: PMC2854332  PMID: 20056903
idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; idiopathic interstitial pneumonia; diagnosis; computed tomography of the chest
6.  The Prognostic Value of Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis 
Rationale: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is characterized by progressive dyspnea, impaired gas exchange, and ultimate mortality.
Objectives: To test the hypothesis that maximal oxygen uptake during cardiopulmonary exercise testing at baseline and with short-term longitudinal measures would predict mortality in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Methods: Data from 117 patients with IPF and longitudinal cardiopulmonary exercise tests were examined retrospectively. Survival was calculated from the date of the first cardiopulmonary exercise test.
Measurements and Main Results: Patients with baseline maximal oxygen uptake less than 8.3 ml/kg/min had an increased risk of death (n = 8; hazard ratio, 3.24; 95% confidence interval, 1.10–9.56; P = 0.03) after adjusting for age, gender, smoking status, baseline forced vital capacity, and baseline diffusion capacity for carbon monoxide. We were unable to define a unit change in maximal oxygen uptake that predicted survival in our cohort.
Conclusions: We conclude that a threshold maximal oxygen uptake of 8.3 ml/kg/min during cardiopulmonary exercise testing at baseline adds prognostic information for patients with IPF.
doi:10.1164/rccm.200802-241OC
PMCID: PMC2648909  PMID: 19074597
idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; exercise test; mortality
7.  An Essential Role for Fibronectin Extra Type III Domain A in Pulmonary Fibrosis 
Rationale: Tissue fibrosis is considered a dysregulated wound-healing response. Fibronectin containing extra type III domain A (EDA) is implicated in the regulation of wound healing. EDA-containing fibronectin is deposited during wound repair, and its presence precedes that of collagen.
Objectives: To investigate the role of EDA-containing fibronectin in lung fibrogenesis.
Methods: Primary lung fibroblasts from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis or from patients undergoing resection for lung cancer were assessed for EDA-containing fibronectin and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) expression. Mice lacking the EDA domain of fibronectin and their wild-type littermates were challenged with the bleomycin model of lung fibrosis. Primary lung fibroblasts from these mice were assayed in vitro to determine the contribution of EDA-containing fibronectin to fibroblast phenotypes.
Measurements and Main Results: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis lung fibroblasts produced markedly more EDA-containing fibronectin and α-SMA than control fibroblasts. EDA-null mice failed to develop significant fibrosis 21 days after bleomycin challenge, whereas wild-type controls developed the expected increase in total lung collagen. Histologic analysis of EDA-null lungs after bleomycin showed less collagen and fewer α-SMA–expressing myofibroblasts compared with that observed in wild-type mice. Failure to develop lung fibrosis in EDA-null mice correlated with diminished activation of latent transforming growth factor (TGF)-β and decreased lung fibroblast responsiveness to active TGF-β in vitro.
Conclusions: The data show that EDA-containing fibronectin is essential for the fibrotic resolution of lung injury through TGF-β activation and responsiveness, and suggest that EDA-containing fibronectin plays a critical role in tissue fibrogenesis.
doi:10.1164/rccm.200708-1291OC
PMCID: PMC2267338  PMID: 18096707
fibrosis; fibronectin; TGF-β; myofibroblast
8.  Variable Prostaglandin E2 Resistance in Fibroblasts from Patients with Usual Interstitial Pneumonia 
Rationale: Prostaglandin (PG) E2, a cyclooxygenase-derived lipid mediator, is a potent down-regulator of fibroblast activation in normal lung fibroblasts. Although fibroblasts from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis are known to exhibit a defect in PGE2 synthesis, there is little information about their responsiveness to this lipid mediator.
Objectives: To compare responses to PGE2 in normal, usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP), and other diffuse parenchymal lung disease (DPLD) fibroblasts.
Methods: Fibroblasts were grown in vitro from well characterized control (n = 7), UIP (n = 17), or other DPLD (n = 13) lung tissue. The effects of PGE2 on fibroblast proliferation and collagen expression were determined.
Measurements and Main Results: Only 3 of 12 UIP fibroblast lines exhibited PGE2-mediated inhibition of both collagen synthesis and cell proliferation, as opposed to 6 of 6 nonfibrotic control cell lines. The degree of PGE2 resistance in DPLD fibroblasts was quite variable, with UIP cells exhibiting the greatest degree of resistance to PGE2, whereas other DPLD fibroblasts manifested a degree of resistance intermediate to control and UIP. The resistance to suppression of collagen expression correlated with worse lung function. Molecular mechanisms for resistance included altered E prostanoid receptor profiles and diminished expression of the downstream kinase, protein kinase A.
Conclusions: The recognition that UIP fibroblasts manifest variable refractoriness to PGE2 suppression sheds new light on the activation phenotype of these cells and on the pathogenesis of fibrotic lung disease.
doi:10.1164/rccm.200706-963OC
PMCID: PMC2176116  PMID: 17916807
collagen; cAMP; idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; nonspecific interstitial pneumonia; proliferation
9.  Idiopathic Interstitial Pneumonia 
Rationale: Treatment and prognoses of diffuse parenchymal lung diseases (DPLDs) varies by diagnosis. Obtaining a uniform diagnosis among observers is difficult.
Objectives: Evaluate diagnostic agreement between academic and community-based physicians for patients with DPLDs, and determine if an interactive approach between clinicians, radiologists, and pathologists improved diagnostic agreement in community and academic centers.
Methods: Retrospective review of 39 patients with DPLD. A total of 19 participants reviewed cases at 2 community locations and 1 academic location. Information from the history, physical examination, pulmonary function testing, high-resolution computed tomography, and surgical lung biopsy was collected. Data were presented in the same sequential fashion to three groups of physicians on separate days.
Measurements and Main Results: Each observer's diagnosis was coded into one of eight categories. A κ statistic allowing for multiple raters was used to assess agreement in diagnosis. Interactions between clinicians, radiologists, and pathologists improved interobserver agreement at both community and academic sites; however, final agreement was better within academic centers (κ = 0.55–0.71) than within community centers (κ = 0.32–0.44). Clinically significant disagreement was present between academic and community-based physicians (κ = 0.11–0.56). Community physicians were more likely to assign a final diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis compared with academic physicians.
Conclusions: Significant disagreement exists in the diagnosis of DPLD between physicians based in communities compared with those in academic centers. Wherever possible, patients should be referred to centers with expertise in diffuse parenchymal lung disorders to help clarify the diagnosis and provide suggestions regarding treatment options.
doi:10.1164/rccm.200606-833OC
PMCID: PMC1899268  PMID: 17255566
academic; community; diagnosis; nonspecific interstitial pneumonia; usual interstitial pneumonia
10.  Acute Exacerbations of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis 
The natural history of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) has been characterized as a steady, predictable decline in lung function over time. Recent evidence suggests that some patients may experience a more precipitous course, with periods of relative stability followed by acute deteriorations in respiratory status. Many of these acute deteriorations are of unknown etiology and have been termed acute exacerbations of IPF. This perspective is the result of an international effort to summarize the current state of knowledge regarding acute exacerbations of IPF. Acute exacerbations of IPF are defined as acute, clinically significant deteriorations of unidentifiable cause in patients with underlying IPF. Proposed diagnostic criteria include subjective worsening over 30 days or less, new bilateral radiographic opacities, and the absence of infection or another identifiable etiology. The potential pathobiological roles of infection, disordered cell biology, coagulation, and genetics are discussed, and future research directions are proposed.
doi:10.1164/rccm.200703-463PP
PMCID: PMC2094133  PMID: 17585107
acute exacerbation; pulmonary fibrosis; diagnosis; definition
11.  Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis 
Rationale and Hypothesis: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a fatal disease with a variable rate of progression. We hypothesized that changes in distance walked and quantity of desaturation during a six-minute-walk test (6MWT) would add prognostic information to changes in FVC or diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide.
Methods: One hundred ninety-seven patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis were evaluated. Desaturation during the 6MWT was associated with increased mortality even if a threshold of 88% was not reached. Baseline walk distance predicted subsequent walk distance but was not a reliable predictor of subsequent mortality in multivariate survival models. The predictive ability of serial changes in physiology varied when patients were stratified by the presence/absence of desaturation ⩽ 88% during a baseline 6MWT. For patients with a baseline saturation ⩽ 88% during a 6MWT, the strongest observed predictor of mortality was serial change in diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide. For patients with saturation > 88% during their baseline walk test, serial decreases in FVC and increases in desaturation area significantly predicted subsequent mortality, whereas decreases in walk distance and in diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide displayed less consistent statistical evidence of increasing mortality in our patients.
Conclusion: These data highlight the importance of stratifying patients by degree of desaturation during a 6MWT before attributing prognostic value to serial changes in other physiologic variables.
doi:10.1164/rccm.200604-488OC
PMCID: PMC2648064  PMID: 16825656
idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; six-minute-walk test; prognosis; pulmonary function; survival
12.  Prognostic Value of Bronchiolitis Obliterans Syndrome Stage 0-p in Single-Lung Transplant Recipients 
Rationale: Early diagnosis of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) is critical in understanding pathogenesis and devising therapeutic trials. Although potential-BOS stage (BOS 0-p), encompassing early changes in FEV1 and forced expiratory flow, midexpiratory phase (FEF25–75%), has been proposed, there is a paucity of data validating its utility in single-lung transplantation. Objective: The aim of this study was to define the predictive ability of BOS 0-p in single-lung transplantation. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed spirometric data for 197 single-lung recipients. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value of BOS 0-p were examined over time using Kaplan-Meier methodology. Results: BOS 0-p FEV1 was associated with higher sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value than the FEF25–75% criterion over different time periods investigated. The probability of testing positive for BOS 0-p FEV1 in patients with BOS (sensitivity) was 71% at 2 years before the onset of BOS. The probability of being free from development of BOS 0-p FEV1 in patients free of BOS at follow-up (specificity) was 93% within the last year. Of patients who met the BOS 0-p FEV1 criterion, 81% developed BOS or died within 3 years. The specificity and positive predictive value curves for the BOS 0-p FEV1 were significantly different between patients with underlying restrictive versus obstructive physiology (p = 0.05 and 0.01, respectively). Conclusion: The FEV1 criterion for BOS 0-p provides useful predictive information regarding the risk of development of BOS or death in single-lung recipients. The predictive value of this criterion is higher in patients with underlying restriction and is superior to the FEF25–75% criterion.
doi:10.1164/rccm.200501-097OC
PMCID: PMC2718475  PMID: 15894603
bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome; diagnosis; lung transplantation; staging

Results 1-12 (12)