Periostin Regulation of Lung Fibrosis Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive scarring disorder of the lung that is characterized by the accumulation of myofibroblasts and the deposition of extracellular matrix leading to respiratory failure. Unfortunately, the disease is fatal and there are no effective therapies other than lung transplantation. The most potent profibrotic mediator studied to date is transforming growth factor (TGF) b and TGFb is elevated in many models of organ fibrosis. Unfortunately, TGFb is a difficult therapeutic target as total loss of TGFb or TGFb signaling can cause devastating autoimmune inflammation and mortality. As such, there is great interest in identifying downstream mediators of TGFb signaling which may be better targets for therapeutic intervention to treat fibrotic disorders. Recently, the TGFb-regulated matricellular protein, periostin, a molecule which has been studied in asthma, atherosclerosis and cancer, has been implicated in the pathogenesis of interstitial fibrotic lung disease. We and others have shown that periostin is increased in cells and lung tissue of IPF patients and that elevated levels of circulating periostin in IPF patients predict declines in lung function. Additionally, we and other have demonstrated that periostin-/- mice are protected from bleomycin-induced fibrosis. We recently demonstrated that periostin can induce mesenchymal cell proliferation, collagen expression and ability to close a scratch wound. Blockade of periostin interactions with the avb3 and avb5 integrins via the administration of the OC-20 monoclonal Ab could partially reverse periostin-mediated wound closure and partially blocks the development of bleomycin-induced fibrosis when administered during the fibroproliferative phase of the disease. Our published results using bone marrow chimeric mice indicate that both structural and hematopoietic sources of periostin are required for development of bleomycin-induced fibrosis. Preliminary data show that periostin may induce myofibroblast survival via the induction of the anti- apoptotic proteins (survivin, X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP) and Bcl-2). Periostin is also elevated in aged mice and may contribute to the enhanced susceptibility of aged mice to gammaherpesvirus-induced fibrosis. Our revised studies are aimed at verifying the ability of periostin to promote fibrosis in two additional animal models. We also have proposed studies to elucidate the role that circulating fibrocytes and fibrocyte-derived periostin may play in regulating fibrotic development in multiple models. TGFb and periostin reciprocally regulate each other;however, the fact that periostin-deficient mice are viable and have relatively few health issues suggests that this molecule may be highly amenable to therapeutic targeting. To further explore this possibility, we will perform mechanistic studies to understand the reciprocal regulation of these mediators and to understand how periostin influences lung mesenchymal cell behavior. Finally, we will measure periostin in the lung and the changes in circulating periostin levels over time in IPF patients and determine the correlations this biomarker may have on disease progression. We hypothesize that the matricellular protein, periostin, promotes the development and progression of pulmonary fibrosis and may serve as a biomarker for disease progression. We will mechanistically explore this hypothesis in the following specific aims.
Aim 1) To determine whether periostin regulates the development of fluorescein isothiocyanate-induced pulmonary fibrosis or gammaherpesvirus-induced fibrosis in aged mice Aim 2) To determine the contribution of fibrocytes and fibrocyte-derived periostin in the development of lung fibrosis in animal models Aim 3) To determine the molecular mechanisms via which periostin and TGFb regulate each other and the function of lung mesenchymal cells Aim 4) To determine whether periostin levels in plasma or bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of IPF patients correlate with disease progression

Public Health Relevance

This project is based on the observation that periostin is produced in high levels in patients with lung fibrosis and elevations of periostin predict declines in lung function. We are now exploring the potential mechanisms whereby this molecule may influence the profibrotic behavior of mesenchymal cells in the lung, and will determine the importance of periostin derived from circulating fibrocytes in disease progression. We will also test the measurement of this protein as a biomarker for disease progression. A better understanding of periostin regulation of lung fibrosis may lead to new therapies for this devastating disease.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
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Eu, Jerry Pc
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University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
Ann Arbor
United States
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O'Dwyer, David N; Moore, Bethany B (2017) The role of periostin in lung fibrosis and airway remodeling. Cell Mol Life Sci 74:4305-4314
Zhou, Xiaofeng; Moore, Bethany B (2017) Adoptive Transfer of Lung Antigen Presenting Cells. Bio Protoc 7:
O'Dwyer, David N; Norman, Katy C; Xia, Meng et al. (2017) The peripheral blood proteome signature of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is distinct from normal and is associated with novel immunological processes. Sci Rep 7:46560
Huang, Yong; Ma, Shwu-Fan; Espindola, Milena S et al. (2017) Microbes Are Associated with Host Innate Immune Response in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 196:208-219
Galli, Jonathan A; Panetta, Nicholas L; Gaeckle, Nathaniel et al. (2017) Pneumothorax After Transbronchial Biopsy in Pulmonary Fibrosis: Lessons from the Multicenter COMET Trial. Lung 195:537-543
Zhou, Xiaofeng; Moore, Bethany B (2017) Lung Section Staining and Microscopy. Bio Protoc 7:
Ashley, S L; Wilke, C A; Kim, K K et al. (2017) Periostin regulates fibrocyte function to promote myofibroblast differentiation and lung fibrosis. Mucosal Immunol 10:341-351
Cipolla, Ellyse; Fisher, Amanda J; Gu, Hongmei et al. (2017) IL-17A deficiency mitigates bleomycin-induced complement activation during lung fibrosis. FASEB J 31:5543-5556
Zhou, X; Loomis-King, H; Gurczynski, S J et al. (2016) Bone marrow transplantation alters lung antigen-presenting cells to promote TH17 response and the development of pneumonitis and fibrosis following gammaherpesvirus infection. Mucosal Immunol 9:610-20
Ashley, Shanna L; Sisson, Thomas H; Wheaton, Amanda K et al. (2016) Targeting Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins Protects from Bleomycin-Induced Lung Fibrosis. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 54:482-92

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