Abstract Title:

Tanshinone IIA attenuates silica-induced pulmonary fibrosis via Nrf2-mediated inhibition of EMT and TGF-β1/Smad signaling.

Abstract Source:

Chem Biol Interact. 2020 Mar 1 ;319:109024. Epub 2020 Feb 22. PMID: 32097614

Abstract Author(s):

Feifei Feng, Peng Cheng, Shaohua Xu, Nannan Li, Hui Wang, Ying Zhang, Wei Wang

Article Affiliation:

Feifei Feng


Silicosis is an occupational pulmonary fibrosis that is caused by inhalation of silica (SiO), and there are no effective drugs to treat this disease. Tanshinone IIA (Tan IIA), a natural product, has been reported to possess antioxidant and anti-fibrotic properties in various diseases. The purpose of the current study was to examine Tan IIA's protective effects against silica-induced pulmonary fibrosis and to explore the underlying mechanisms. We found that in vivo treatment with Tan IIA significantly relieved silica-induced lung fibrosis in a silicosis rat model by histological and immunohistochemical analyses. Further, in vitro mechanistic investigations, mainly using western blot and immunofluorescence analyses, revealed that Tan IIA administration markedly inhibited the silica-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1)/Smad signaling pathway and also reduced silica-induced oxidative stress and activated the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor-2 (Nrf2) signaling pathway in A549 and human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells. Furthermore, through transfection with siRNA, we demonstrate that Nrf2 activation partially mediates the suppression effects of Tan IIA on EMT and TGF-β1/Smad signaling pathway activation induced by silica exposure, thus mediating the anti-fibrotic effects of Tan IIA against silica-induced pulmonary fibrosis. In our study, Tan IIA has been identified as a possible anti-oxidative and anti-fibrotic drug for silicosis.

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