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Am J Physiol. 1991 Dec;261(6 Pt 1):L378-85.

Modulation of bFGF in lung fibroblasts by TGF-beta and PDGF.

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Department of Medicine, University of Alabama School of Medicine, Birmingham 35294.


Growth factors produced by alveolar macrophages are thought to promote the fibroblast proliferation within interstitial spaces of fibrotic lungs. This study investigated the possibility that the macrophage-produced growth factors might modulate the expression of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) by lung fibroblasts. To evaluate this question, bFGF gene expression and protein production were evaluated in normal adult human lung fibroblast cell lines. Under normal culture conditions, the fibroblasts expressed the bFGF gene as two major transcripts (7.1, 3.7 kb). The addition of fetal calf serum (FCS) to serum-starved fibroblasts caused a 5- to 10-fold increase in bFGF expression. Steady-state bFGF expression was increased 108% by platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and 602% by transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta). Insulin-like growth factor-1 had no significant effect on bFGF expression. Nuclear runoff studies demonstrated that both PDGF and TGF-beta increased the relative rates of bFGF transcription in the fibroblasts. Western blot analysis of lysates from fibroblasts treated with either PDGF or TGF-beta had no detectable increase in bFGF protein above unstimulated controls. However, the simultaneous addition of PDGF and TGF-beta, or FCS, produced a marked increase in bFGF. These experiments show that two growth factors present in the alveolar airspace compartment of fibrotic lungs can promote the expression of bFGF within lung fibroblasts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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