F2-isoprostanes can mediate bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis
F2-isoprostanes (F2-IsoPs) have been considered markers of oxidative stress in various pulmonary diseases, but little is known about their possible role in pulmonary fibrosis. In this study, we have investigated the potential key role of F2-IsoPs as markers and mediators of bleomycin (BLM)-induced pulmonary fibrosis in rats. During the in vivo study, plasma F2-IsoPs showed a peak at 7 days and remained elevated for the entire experimental period. Lung F2-IsoP content nearly tripled 7 days following the intratracheal instillation of BLM, and by 28 days, the value increased about fivefold compared to the controls. Collagen deposition correlated with F2-IsoP content in the lung. Furthermore, from day 21 onwards, lung sections from BLM-treated animals showed α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) positive cells, which were mostly evident at 28 days. In vitro studies performed in rat lung fibroblasts (RLF) demonstrated that either BLM or F2-IsoPs stimulated both cell proliferation and collagen synthesis. Moreover, RLF treated with F2-IsoPs showed a significant increase of α-SMA expression compared to control, indicating that F2-IsoPs can readily activate fibroblasts to myofibroblasts. Our data demonstrated that F2-IsoPs can be mediators of key events for the onset and development of lung fibrosis, such as cell proliferation, collagen synthesis and fibroblast activation. Immunocytochemistry analysis, inhibition and binding studies demonstrated the presence of the thromboxane A2 receptor (TP receptor) on lung fibroblasts and suggested that the observed effects may be elicited through the binding to this receptor. Our data added a new perspective on the role of F2-IsoPs in lung fibrosis by providing evidence of a profibrotic role for these mediators in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis.