Tuberc Respir Dis.  2016 Jul;79(3):143-152. 10.4046/trd.2016.79.3.143.

Apolipoprotein A1 Inhibits TGF-β1-Induced Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition of Alveolar Epithelial Cells

Affiliations
  • 1Division of Allergy and Respiratory Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Soonchunhyang University Bucheon Hospital, Bucheon, Korea. swpark@schmc.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Pathology, Soonchunhyang University Bucheon Hospital, Bucheon, Korea.
  • 3Division of Allergy and Respiratory Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Soonchunhyang University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Division of Allergy and Respiratory Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Soonchunhyang University Cheonan Hospital, Cheonan, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive and lethal lung disease characterized by the accumulation of excessive fibroblasts and myofibroblasts in the extracellular matrix. The transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1)-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is thought to be a possible source of fibroblasts/myofibroblasts in IPF lungs. We have previously reported that apolipoprotein A1 (ApoA1) has anti-fibrotic activity in experimental lung fibrosis. In this study, we determine whether ApoA1 modulates TGF-β1-induced EMT in experimental lung fibrosis and clarify its mechanism of action.
METHODS
The A549 alveolar epithelial cell line was treated with TGF-β1 with or without ApoA1. Morphological changes and expression of EMT-related markers, including E-cadherin, N-cadherin, and α-smooth muscle actin were evaluated. Expressions of Smad and non-Smad mediators and TGF-β1 receptor type 1 (TβRI) and type 2 (TβRII) were measured. The silica-induced lung fibrosis model was established using ApoA1 overexpressing transgenic mice.
RESULTS
TGF-β1-treated A549 cells were changed to the mesenchymal morphology with less E-cadherin and more N-cadherin expression. The addition of ApoA1 inhibited the TGF-β1-induced change of the EMT phenotype. ApoA1 inhibited the TGF-β1-induced increase in the phosphorylation of Smad2 and 3 as well as that of ERK and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase mediators. In addition, ApoA1 reduced the TGF-β1-induced increase in TβRI and TβRII expression. In a mouse model of silica-induced lung fibrosis, ApoA1 overexpression reduced the silica-mediated effects, which were increased N-cadherin and decreased E-cadherin expression in the alveolar epithelium.
CONCLUSION
Our data demonstrate that ApoA1 inhibits TGF-β1-induced EMT in experimental lung fibrosis.

Keyword

Apolipoprotein A-1; Transforming Growth Factor Beta1; Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition; Pulmonary Fibrosis
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