Pathogenic fibrotic diseases, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), have some of the worst prognoses and affect millions of people worldwide. With unclear etiology and minimally effective therapies, two-thirds of IPF patients die within 2-5 years from this progressive interstitial lung disease. Transforming Growth Factor Beta (TGFβ) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) are known to promote fibrosis; however, myofibroblast specific upregulation of IGF-1 in the initiation and progression of TGFβ-induced fibrogenesis and IPF have remained unexplored. To address this, the current study (1) documents the upregulation of IGF-1 via TGFβ in myofibroblasts and fibrotic lung tissue, as well as its correlation with decreased pulmonary function in advanced IPF; (2) identifies IGF-1's C1 promoter as mediating the increase in IGF-1 transcription by TGFβ in pulmonary fibroblasts; (3) determines that SMAD2 and mTOR signaling are required for TGFβ-dependent Igf-1 expression in myofibroblasts; (4) demonstrates IGF-1R activation is essential to support TGFβ-driven profibrotic myofibroblast functions and excessive wound healing; and (5) establishes the effectiveness of slowing the progression of murine lung fibrosis with the IGF-1R inhibitor OSI-906. These findings expand our knowledge of IGF-1's role as a novel fibrotic-switch, bringing us one step closer to understanding the complex biological mechanisms responsible for fibrotic diseases and developing effective therapies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology