American journal of physiology. Lung cellular and molecular physiology

MCPIP1 mediates silica-induced cell migration in human pulmonary fibroblasts.

PMID 26608530


Silicosis is a systemic disease caused by inhaling silicon dioxide (SiO2). Phagocytosis of SiO2 in the lungs initiates an inflammatory cascade that results in fibroblast proliferation and migration followed by fibrosis. According to previous data from our laboratory, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) plays a critical role in fibroblast proliferation and migration in conventional two-dimensional (2D) monolayer cultures. The present study aimed to explore the downstream cascade of MCP-1 in both 2D and three-dimensional (3D) cell culture models of silicosis. Experiments using primary cultured adult human pulmonary fibroblasts (HPF-a) demonstrated the following: 1) SiO2 treatment induces expression of MCP-1-induced protein (MCPIP1) in a time- and dose-dependent manner in both 2D and 3D cultures; 2) the MAPK and phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathways are involved in SiO2-induced MCPIP1 expression; and 3) MCPIP1 induction mediates the SiO2-induced increase in cell migration in both 2D and 3D cultures. The effect of MCP-1 in silicosis occurs mainly through MCPIP1, which, in turn, mediates the observed SiO2-induced increase in pulmonary fibroblast migration. However, the time frame for MCPIP1 induction differed between 2D and 3D cultures, indicating that, compared with conventional 2D cell culture systems, 3D culture may be useful for analyses of fibroblast physiology under conditions that more closely resemble in vivo environments. Our study determined the link between fibroblast-derived MCPIP1 and SiO2-induced cell migration, and this finding provides novel evidence of the potential of MCPIP1 in the development of novel therapeutic strategies for silicosis.