Amphiregulin attenuates bleomycin-induced pneumopathy in mice

Jutaro Fukumoto, Chika Harada, Tomonobu Kawaguchi, Saiko Suetsugu, Takashige Maeyama, Ichiro Inoshima, Naoki Hamada, Kazuyoshi Kuwano, Yoichi Nakanishi

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37 Citations (Scopus)


Amphiregulin, an EGF receptor (EGFR) ligand, is essential for epithelial development in various organs. A recent report suggested that amphiregulin acts as a protective factor in a liver injury model. Little is known about the roles of amphiregulin in lung injury and pulmonary fibrosis. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the role of amphiregulin in an experimental model of bleomycin-induced pneumopathy in mice. C57BL/6 mice were administered a bleomycin hydrochloride solution intratracheally. Recombinant human amphiregulin was injected intraperitoneally at 6, 8, 10, and 12 days after the bleomycin instillation. The grades of inflammation and fibrosis were assessed histologically and biochemically, and the numbers of apoptotic cells were counted after TdT-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) staining in the lung tissues. We also examined downstream survival signals of EGFR, namely phosphorylated Akt and phosphorylated Erk, in lung tissues by Western blotting analysis and immunohistochemistry. Expression of intrinsic amphiregulin was increased in murine lung tissues after bleomycin instillation. Administration of recombinant amphiregulin improved the survival rate and suppressed the degrees of inflammation and fibrosis and the number of TUNEL-positive cells in lung tissues. Amphiregulin treatment enhanced the activation of Akt and Erk in lung epithelial cells. Amphiregulin may play a protective role in bleomycin-induced pneumopathy in mice, probably through the activation of survival signals. Administration of amphiregulin may be a novel therapeutic strategy against lung injury and fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L131-L138
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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