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CJAP ›› 2021, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (6): 577-583.doi: 10.12047/j.cjap.6124.2021.048

• ORIGINAL ARTICLES •     Next Articles

Effects of Notch-1/Twist-1 axis in the process of epithelial-mesenchymal transition of type II alveolar epithelial cell and its mechanism

TANG Juan1+, KE Jie2+, FU Yu3, HE Xiao-wei1, LI Xian-wei1△   

  1. 1. Department of Pharmacology, Wannan Medical College, Wuhu 241002, China;
    2. School of Medical Image, Wannan Medical College, Wuhu 241002, China;
    3. School of Clinical Medicine, Wannan Medical College, Wuhu 241002, China
  • Received:2020-07-12 Revised:2020-12-29 Online:2021-11-28 Published:2021-11-25

Abstract: Objective: To study the role of Notch-1/Twist-1 axis in the process of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of type II alveolar epithelial cells in pulmonary fibrosis (PF) and hope to provide a new theoretical basis for the pathogenesis of PF. Methods: Thirty rats were randomly divided into control group and bleomycin (BLM) group, 15 rats in each group. The PF rat model was induced by intratracheal injection of BLM (7 500 U/kg). Excised inferior lobe of left lung was fixed in 10% formalin for HE staining, Masson staining and transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1) immunohistochemistry staining after BLM injection for 28 days. The cultured type II alveolar epithelial cells (RLE-6TN) were divided into 4 groups (Control group, transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1) group, Notch-1 negative control siRNA (NC siRNA, 100 pmol/L) group and Notch-1 siRNA (100 pmol/L) group), each group was established nine holes. The cells were treated with TGF-β1 (5.0 ng/ml) for 24 h following NC siRNA or Notch-1 siRNA for 48 h. The mRNA and (or) proteins levels of TGF-β1, collagen I, collagen III, E-Cadherin, zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1), Vimentin, E-Cadherin, Notch-1, Notch-1 intracellular domain (NICD), Hes-1 and Twist-1 were detected in lung tissue and type II alveolar epithelial cells. Results: In vivo, compared with the control group, the alveolar atrophy, collapse and fusion occurred, alveolar septum widened significantly, and a large number of inflammatory cells infiltrated in the pulmonary interstitial of the rats in the BLM group. And compared with control group, BLM obviously increased collagen deposition and collagen I and collagen III expressions, while the expressions of ZO-1 and E-cadherin were decreased, and the expressions of Vimentin and N-cadherin were increased, and concomitantly with increasing Notch-1, NICD, Hes-1 and Twist-1 expression in lung tissues of rats (P<0.01). In vitro, compared with control group, TGF-β1 treatment obviously induced collagen I, collagen III, Notch-1, NICD, Hes-1 and Twist-1 expressions, and the expressions of E-cadherin and ZO-1 were decreased and the expressions of Vimentin and N-cadherin were increased(P<0.01). Compared with TGF-β1 group, Notch-1 siRNA treatment significantly inhibited the expressions of Notch-1, NICD, Hes-1 and Twist-1, and the expressions of E-cadherin and ZO-1 were increased and the expressions of Vimentin and N-cadherin were decreased, and also obviously reduced the expressions of collagen I and collagen III induced by TGF-β1 (P<0.05 or P<0.01). Conclusion: Notch-1/Twist-1 axis is involved in the EMT process of type II alveolar epithelial cells, suggesting that Notch-1/Twist-1 signaling may be involved in the development of pulmonary fibrosis.

Key words: pulmonary fibrosis, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, Notch-1, Twist-1, rat

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