MIR-34a inhibits lung fibrosis by inducing lung fibroblast senescence

Academic Article


  • © 2017 by the American Thoracic Society. Cellular senescence has been implicated in diverse pathologies. However, there is conflicting evidence regarding the role of this process in tissue fibrosis. Although dysregulation of microRNAs is a key mechanism in the pathogenesis of lung fibrosis, it is unclear whether microRNAs function by regulating cellular senescence in the disease. In this study, we found that miR-34a demonstrated greater expression in the lungs of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and in mice with experimental pulmonary fibrosis, with its primary localization in lung fibroblasts. More importantly, miR-34a was up-regulated significantly in both human and mouse lung myofibroblasts. We found that mice with miR-34a ablation developed more severe pulmonary fibrosis than did wild-Type animals after fibrotic lung injury. Mechanistically, we found that miR-34a induced a senescent phenotype in lung fibroblasts because this microRNA increased senescence-Associated b-galactosidase activity, enhanced expression of senescence markers, and decreased cell proliferative capacities. Consistently, we found that primary lung fibroblasts from fibrotic lungs of miR-34a-deficient mice had a diminished senescent phenotype and enhanced resistance to apoptosis as compared with those from wild-Type animals. We also identified multiple miR-34a targets that likely mediated its activities in inducing senescence in lung fibroblasts. In conclusion, our data suggest that miR-34a functions through a negative feedback mechanism to restrain fibrotic response in the lungs by promoting senescence of pulmonary fibroblasts.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Cui H; Ge J; Xie N; Banerjee S; Zhou Y; Antony VB; Thannickal VJ; Liu G
  • Start Page

  • 168
  • End Page

  • 178
  • Volume

  • 56
  • Issue

  • 2