Upregulated miR-29c suppresses silica-induced lung fibrosis through the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in mice

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Silicosis is an irreversible lung disease resulting from long-term inhalation of occupational dust containing silicon dioxide. However, the pathogenesis of silicosis has not been clearly understood yet. Accumulating evidence suggests that miR-29 may have a significant anti-fibrotic capacity, meanwhile it may relate to Wnt/β-catenin pathway. The purpose of this study was to discuss the role of miR-29 in the progression of silicosis. A lentiviral vector was constructed, named Lv-miR-29c, which was overexpressing miR-29c. In vivo, intratracheal treatment with Lv-miR-29c significantly increased expression of miR-29c, and reduced expression of β-catenin, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2, and MMP-9 in the lung and levels of transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and notably attenuated pulmonary fibrosis as evidenced by hydroxyproline content in silica-administered mice. These results indicated that miR-29c inhibited the development of silica-induced lung fibrosis. Thus, miR-29c may be a candidate target for silicosis treatment via its regulation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway.

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