Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.500, No.4, 839-845, 2018
Inhibition of mTOR ameliorates bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis by regulating epithelial-mesenchymal transition
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) plays a pivotal role in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). In bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis mice, we observed that inhibition of mTOR (mammalia target of rapamycin) attenuated IPF. Rapamycin suppressed the down-regulation of E-cadherin and up-regulation of fibronectin in bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis mice. In addition, dual immunofluorescence staining for E-cadherin and fibronectin demonstrated that rapamycin pretreatment decreased the proportions of AECs undergoing EMT in bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis, indicating that mTOR inhibition suppressed EMT in vivo. In the setting of transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta 1-induced EMT in AECs, we found that mTOR inhibitor attenuated TGF-beta 1-induced EMT in AECs. This EMT was characterized by morphology and cell skeleton changes and the expression of EMT phenotype markers. Finally, mTOR blockade decreased S6k and TGF-beta 1-induced Smad2/3 phosphorylation. Bleomycin induced pulmonary fibrosis and EMT in mice, while mTOR repression inhibited bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis and attenuated EMT in vivo. Hence, our study provided evidence of a novel mechanism by which mTOR inhibitor ameliorates pulmonary fibrosis. Suppression of mTOR and EMT may be a target for treatment of pulmonary fibrosis. (C) 2018 Published by Elsevier Inc.