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Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2008 Feb;294(2):L152-60. Epub 2007 Nov 9.

Murine models of pulmonary fibrosis.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, 109 Zina Pitcher Place, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2200, USA.


Human pulmonary fibrosis is characterized by alveolar epithelial cell injury, areas of type II cell hyperplasia, accumulation of fibroblasts and myofibroblasts, and the deposition of extracellular matrix proteins. The result is a progressive loss of normal lung architecture and impairment in gas exchange. Pertinent features of the human disease include temporal heterogeneity of the fibrotic lesions, progressive nature of the disease, development of fibrotic foci, and in some patients, a rapid worsening of symptoms known as an acute exacerbation. No current animal model recapitulates all of these cardinal manifestations of the human disease. However, investigations using murine models have led to the identification of many pathological cells and mediators that are believed to be important in human disease as well. In this review, we will summarize the characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages of many of the currently utilized murine models of pulmonary fibrosis.

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