Pulmonary Fibrosis Model
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Fibrosis is the formation of excess fibrous connective tissue in an organ or tissue in a reparative or reactive process. There are many described types of fibrosis with pulmonary and hepatic fibrosis being the most common.
Pulmonary fibrosis can be caused by chronic inflammatory processes, infections, environmental agents, exposure to ionizing radiation, chronic conditions and certain medications.
Pulmonary fibrosis is characterized by alveolar epithelial cell injury and hyperplasia, inflammatory cell accumulation, fibroblast hyperplasia, deposition of extracellular matrix, and scar formation. The end result of this process is the loss of lung elasticity and loss of alveolar surface area leading to impairment of gas exchange and pulmonary function. The disease is further characterized by the presence of chronic inflammatory infiltrates, myofibroblast hyperplasia, and disordered collagen deposition.
The bleomycin lung fibrosis model is the best characterized, and most widely used pulmonary fibrosis model. Direct delivery of bleomycin to the lung (e.g. intratracheal) causes direct damage to alveolar epithelial cells and induces rapidly developing fibrosis after a single administration. This is followed by the development of neutrophilic and lymphocytic alveolitis within the first week. After the first week, alveolar inflammatory cells are cleared, fibroblast proliferation is initiated, with synthesis of extracellular matrix. The development of fibrosis in this model can be seen biochemically and histologically by day 14 with maximal responses observed between 21- 28 days.
Nintedanib and pirfenidone have been used clinically to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Both compounds have been evaluated in our bleomycin lung fibrosis model.
These data reveal that profound lung fibrosis has been induced by bleomycin and Nintedanib treatment effectively improved the histopathology changes in this bleomycin lung fibrosis model.