Sirtuin1 Protects against Systemic Sclerosis-related Pulmonary Fibrosis by Decreasing Proinflammatory and Profibrotic Processes

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Pulmonary fibrosis is the leading cause of death in systemic sclerosis (SSc). Sirtuin1 (SIRT1) is a deacetylase with known antiinflammatory and antifibrotic activity in the liver, kidney, and skin. The role of SIRT1 in SSc-related pulmonary fibrosis is unknown. In the present work, we determined that the expression of SIRT1 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of patients with SSc with pulmonary fibrosis is lower than that in patients with SSc without pulmonary fibrosis. In in vivo studies of bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis in mice, SIRT1 activation with resveratrol reduced collagen production when it was administered either prophylactically during the inflammatory stage or after the development of fibrosis. Furthermore, SIRT1 activation or overexpression inhibited tumor necrosis factor-α-induced inflammatory responses in vitro in human fetal lung fibroblasts, depletion of SIRT1 in fibroblasts enhanced inflammation, and these effects were related to changes in the acetylation of NF-κB. In addition, SIRT1 activation or exogenous overexpression inhibited collagen production in vitro, and these manipulations also inhibited fibrosis via inactivation of transforming growth factor-β/mothers against decapentaplegic homolog and mammalian target of rapamycin signaling. Taken together, our results show that a loss of SIRT1 may participate in the pathogenesis of SSc-related pulmonary fibrosis, and that SIRT1 activation is an effective treatment for both the early (inflammatory) and late (fibrotic) stages of pulmonary fibrosis. Thus, SIRT1 may be a promising therapeutic target in the management of SSc-related pulmonary fibrosis.

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