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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 Feb 15;97(4):1778-83.

Global analysis of gene expression in pulmonary fibrosis reveals distinct programs regulating lung inflammation and fibrosis.

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  • 1Lung Biology Center, Department of Anesthesia, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.


The molecular mechanisms of pulmonary fibrosis are poorly understood. We have used oligonucleotide arrays to analyze the gene expression programs that underlie pulmonary fibrosis in response to bleomycin, a drug that causes lung inflammation and fibrosis, in two strains of susceptible mice (129 and C57BL/6). We then compared the gene expression patterns in these mice with 129 mice carrying a null mutation in the epithelial-restricted integrin beta6 subunit (beta6(-/-)), which develop inflammation but are protected from pulmonary fibrosis. Cluster analysis identified two distinct groups of genes involved in the inflammatory and fibrotic responses. Analysis of gene expression at multiple time points after bleomycin administration revealed sequential induction of subsets of genes that characterize each response. The availability of this comprehensive data set should accelerate the development of more effective strategies for intervention at the various stages in the development of fibrotic diseases of the lungs and other organs.

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