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Title: Inhibition of Wnt/β-catenin signaling suppresses myofibroblast differentiation of lung resident mesenchymal stem cells and pulmonary fibrosis
Authors: Cao, H
Wang, C
Chen, X
Hou, J
Xiang Z 
Shen, Y
Han, X
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Source: Scientific reports, 2018, v. 8, no. 1, 13644, p. 1-14 How to cite?
Journal: Scientific reports 
Abstract: An emerging paradigm proposes a crucial role for lung resident mesenchymal stem cells (LR-MSCs) via a fibroblastic transdifferentiation event in the pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Aberrant activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling occurs in virtually all fibrotic lung diseases and is relevant to the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). In vitro, by measuring the protein levels of several key components involved in Wnt/β-catenin signaling, we confirmed that this signaling pathway was activated in the myofibroblast differentiation of LR-MSCs. Targeted inhibition of Wnt/β-catenin signaling by a small molecule, ICG-001, dose-dependently impeded the proliferation and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1)-mediated fibrogenic actions of LR-MSCs. In vivo, ICG-001 exerted its lung protective effects after bleomycin treatment through blocking mesenchymal-myofibroblast transition, repressing matrix gene expression, and reducing cell apoptosis. Moreover, delayed administration of ICG-001 attenuated bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis, which may present a promising therapeutic strategy for intervention of IPF. Interestingly, these antifibrotic actions of ICG-001 are operated by a mechanism independent of any disruption of Smad activation. In conclusion, our study demonstrated that Wnt/β-catenin signaling may be an essential mechanism underlying the regulation of myofibroblast differentiation of LR-MSCs and their further participation in the development of pulmonary fibrosis.
EISSN: 2045-2322
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-28968-9
Rights: Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
© The Author(s) 2018
The following publication Cao, H., Wang, C., Chen, X., Hou, J., Xiang, Z., Shen, Y., & Han, X. (2018). Inhibition of wnt/β-catenin signaling suppresses myofibroblast differentiation of lung resident mesenchymal stem cells and pulmonary fibrosis. Scientific Reports, 8, 13644, 1-14 is available at
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