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J Immunol. 1999 May 1;162(9):5511-8.

Neutralization of the CXC chemokine, macrophage inflammatory protein-2, attenuates bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor 48109, USA.


Few studies have addressed the importance of vascular remodeling in the lung during the development of bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis. For fibroplasia and deposition of extracellular matrix to occur, there must be a geometric increase in neovascularization. We hypothesized that net angiogenesis during the pathogenesis of fibroplasia and deposition of extracellular matrix during bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis are dependent in part upon an overexpression of the angiogenic CXC chemokine, macrophage inflammatory protein-2 (MIP-2). To test this hypothesis, we measured MIP-2 by specific ELISA in whole lung homogenates in either bleomycin-treated or control CBA/J mice and correlated these levels with lung hydroxyproline. We found that lung tissue from mice treated with bleomycin, compared with that from saline-treated controls, demonstrated a significant increase in the presence of MIP-2 that was correlated to a greater angiogenic response and total lung hydroxyproline content. Neutralizing anti-MIP-2 Abs inhibited the angiogenic activity of day 16 bleomycin-treated lung specimens using an in vivo angiogenesis bioassay. Furthermore, when MIP-2 was depleted in vivo by passive immunization, bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis was significantly reduced without a change in the presence of pulmonary neutrophils, fibroblast proliferation, or collagen gene expression. This was also paralleled by a reduction in angiogenesis. These results demonstrate that the angiogenic CXC chemokine, MIP-2, is an important factor that regulates angiogenesis/fibrosis in pulmonary fibrosis.

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