Between A ROCK And A Hard Place: Fasudil May Treat Pulmonary Fibrosis
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Yong Zhou and colleagues at the University of Alabama at Birmingham identified a mechanosensitive cellular signaling pathway in myofibroblasts that is activated by the hardening of tissue that has become fibrotic. Activation of this pathway promotes myofibroblast survival and prevents the normal disappearance of these cells after completion of wound healing. The pathway is dependent on a protein known as ROCK. Zhou and colleagues found that a drug that inhibits ROCK, fasudil, attenuates the pro-survival pathway and causes myofibroblasts to die. Further, fasudil treatment protected mice from injury-induced lung fibrosis.
These studies suggest that ROCK inhibitors could be used to treat pulmonary fibrosis. In a companion Attending Physician article, Dean Sheppard of the University of California, San Francisco, discusses the feasibility of using ROCK inhibitors in a clinical setting.
TITLE: Inhibition of mechanosensitive signaling in myofibroblasts ameliorates experimental pulmonary fibrosis
View this article at: http://www.jci.org/articles/view/66700?key=1e6504f3d5e43afe19fb
ACCOMPANYING THE ATTENDING PHYSICIAN TITLE: ROCKing pulmonary fibrosis
View this article at: http://www.jci.org/articles/view/68417?key=3482e828788968b30192
Adapted by MNT from original media release