American journal of physiology. Lung cellular and molecular physiology

Fibroblasts that resist cigarette smoke-induced senescence acquire profibrotic phenotypes.

PMID 25015975


This study assessed the effect of extended exposure to cigarette smoke extract (CSE) on tissue repair functions in lung fibroblasts. Human fetal (HFL-1) and adult lung fibroblasts were exposed to CSE for 14 days. Senescence-associated β-galactosidase (SA β-gal) expression, cell proliferation, and tissue repair functions including chemotaxis and gel contraction were assessed. HFL-1 proliferation was inhibited by CSE and nearly half of the CSE-exposed cells were SA β-gal positive after 14 days exposure, whereas 33% of adult lung fibroblasts were SA β-gal positive in response to 10% CSE exposure. The SA β-gal-positive cells did not proliferate as indicated by bromodeoxyuridine incorporation. In contrast, cells negative for SA β-gal after CSE exposure proliferated faster than cells never exposed to CSE. These nonsenescent cells migrated more and contracted collagen gels more than control cells. CSE exposure stimulated TGF-β1 production, and both inhibition of TGF-β receptor kinase and TGF-β1 siRNA blocked CSE modulation of fibroblast function. Extended exposure to CSE might induce two different fibroblast phenotypes, a senescent and a profibrotic phenotype. The fibroblasts that resist CSE-induced cellular senescence may contribute to the pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and could contribute to fibrotic lesions in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease acting through a TGF-β1-mediated pathway. In contrast, the senescent cells may contribute to the pathogenesis of emphysema.

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Glutathione reduced ethyl ester, ≥90% (TLC)