Radiation induced pulmonary fibrosis (RIPF) is one of the major side effects of radiotherapy for lung cancer. Previous studies have shown that endothelial cells and activated myofibroblasts play a key role in RIPF. However, the interaction between irradiated endothelial cells and activation of myofibroblasts has not been reported. The aim of the present study was to examine whether irradiated endothelial cells would affect the differentiation of fibroblasts into myofibroblasts in the process of RIPF. In the current study, we used a coculture system that allowed direct contact between human fetal lung fibroblasts (MRC-5) and irradiated human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). After 24 or 48 h, cells were sorted by flow cytometry. Radiation induced endothelial-mesenchymal transition (EndMT) by significantly increasing the expression of Snail and vimentin and reducing the expression of CD31 in HUVECs. In addition, irradiation of HUVECs induced the expression of collagen type I and -smooth muscle actin (-SMA) in MRC-5 cells. Further investigation indicated that irradiation of HUVECs induced the differentiation of fibroblasts into myofibroblasts through the Snail/miR-199a-5p axis. We conclude that irradiated endothelial cells undergo EndMT to promote differentiation of fibroblasts into myofibroblasts via the Snail/miR-199a-5p axis.
Yi, M., Liu, B., Tang, Y., Li, F., Qin, W., & Yuan, X. (2018). Irradiated Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells Undergo Endothelial-Mesenchymal Transition via the Snail/miR-199a-5p Axis to Promote the Differentiation of Fibroblasts into Myofibroblasts. BioMed Research International, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/4135806