Amelioration of paraquat-induced pulmonary fibrosis in mice by regulating miR-140-5p expression with the fibrogenic inhibitor Xuebijing.Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2020 Jan-Dec; 34:2058738420923911.IJ
Intravenous Xuebijing (XBJ) therapy suppresses paraquat (PQ)-induced pulmonary fibrosis. However, the mechanism underlying this suppression remains unknown. This work aimed to analyze the miR-140-5p-induced effects of XBJ injection on PQ-induced pulmonary fibrosis in mice. The mice were arbitrarily assigned to four groups. The model group was administered with PQ only. The PQ treatment group was administered with PQ and XBJ. The control group was administered with saline only. The control treatment group was administered with XBJ only. The miR-140-5p and miR-140-5p knockout animal models were overexpressed. The gene expression levels of miR-140-5p, transglutaminase-2 (TG2), β-catenin, Wnt-1, connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), mothers against decapentaplegic homolog (Smad), and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) in the lungs were assayed with quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and Western blot analysis. The levels of TGF-β1, CTGF, and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Hydroxyproline (Hyp) levels and pulmonary fibrosis were also scored. After 14 days of PQ induction of pulmonary fibrosis, AdCMV-miR-140-5p, and XBJ upregulated miR-140-5p expression; blocked the expressions of TG2, Wnt-1, and β-catenin; and decreased p-Smad2, p-Smad3, CTGF, MMP-9, and TGF-β1 expressions. In addition, Hyp and pulmonary fibrosis scores in XBJ-treated mice decreased. Histological results confirmed that PQ-induced pulmonary fibrosis in XBJ-treated lungs was attenuated. TG2 expression and the Wnt-1/β-catenin signaling pathway were suppressed by the elevated levels of miR-140-5p expression. This inhibition was pivotal in the protective effect of XBJ against PQ-induced pulmonary fibrosis. Thus, XBJ efficiently alleviated PQ-induced pulmonary fibrosis in mice.