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Minerva Medica 2013 October;104(5):505-17


language: English

Effect of endothelin inhibition on lung fibroblasts on patients with systemic sclerosis

Corrado A. 1, Neve A. 1, Costantino E. 2, Palladino G. P. 2, Foschino Barbaro M. P. 2, Cantatore F. P. 1

1 Rheumatology Clinic Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy; 2 Institute of Respiratory Diseases Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences “D’Avanzo” Hospital University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy


Aim: The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of selective ETRA Sitaxsentan on viability and differentiation into myofibroblasts of lung fibroblasts derived from SSc-ILD patients and the ability of this drug to modify the lung fibroblast synthesis of VEGF, type I collagen and fibronectin.
Methods: Primary human lung fibroblast cultures were obtained from BAL of SSc-ILD patients. Cell cultures were exposed for 48 h to crescent concentrations of Sitaxsentan (10 -6M to 10 -4M). In these experimental conditions we evaluated cell viability through crystal violet staining, the production and mRNA expression of VEGF, fibronectin and type I collagen respectively through ELISA and real-Time PCR. Further, we detected alpha-Smooth Muscle Actin (α-SMA) through immunocytochemical assay.
Results: The lowest concentration of sitaxsentan (10-6M) did not affect fibroblasts viability; conversely at higher concentrations, sitaxsentan induced a significant inhibition of cell viability. Synthesis and mRNA expression of VEGF, type 1 collagen and fibronectin were significantly reduced in treated lung fibroblasts compared to the untreated ones, in a dose-dependent manner. At higher concentrations, Sitaxsentan reduced the expression of α-SMA.
Conclusion: The results of this study show that sitaxentan is able in vitro to reduce both cell viability than production of VEGF and extra-cellular matrix components in SSc lung fibroblasts, confirming the anti-fibrotic potential of ETRA in SSc. The decreased expression of α-SMA in treated cells indicate that sitaxsentan may inhibit the fibroblast differentiation toward a myo-fibroblast phenotype and further support the hypothesis that the selective ETRAs may be beneficial in patients with SSc-ILD as anti fibrotic agents.

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