IL-1β is one of a family of proinflammatory cytokines thought to be involved in many acute and chronic diseases. Although it is considered to participate in wound repair, no major role has been attributed to IL-1β in tissue fibrosis. We used adenoviral gene transfer to transiently overexpress IL-1β in rat lungs after intratracheal administration. The high expression of IL-1β in the first week after injection was accompanied by local increase of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-α and a vigorous acute inflammatory tissue response with evidence of tissue injury. The profibrotic cytokines PDGF and TGF-β1 were increased in lung fluid samples 1 week after peak expression of IL-1β. Although PDGF returned to baseline in the third week, TGF-β1 showed increased concentrations in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid for up to 60 days. This was associated with severe progressive tissue fibrosis in the lung, as shown by the presence of myofibroblasts, fibroblast foci, and significant extracellular accumulations of collagen and fibronectin. These data directly demonstrate how acute tissue injury in the lung, initiated by a highly proinflammatory cytokine, IL-1β, converts to progressive fibrotic changes. IL-1β should be considered a valid target for therapeutic intervention in diseases associated with fibrosis and tissue remodeling.
Martin Kolb, Peter J. Margetts, Daniel C. Anthony, Fernando Pitossi, Jack Gauldie
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were accepted. No appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.