Opposing regulatory roles of complement factor 5 in the development of bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis

Erin Addis-Lieser, Jörg Köhl, Mónica G. Chiaramonte*

*Corresponding author for this work
35 Citations (Scopus)


The mechanisms of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis pathogenesis, a chronic and progressive interstitial lung disease, remain elusive. The complement system, a crucial arm of the innate immune response, plays a pivotal role in several pathological disorders; however, the contribution of individual complement components to lung fibrosis has not yet been examined. Complement factor 5 (C5) and its cleavage product CSa are critical mediators in inflammatory diseases. Thus, to evaluate the role of CS in lung fibrosis, we compared congenic CS-suincient and C5-deficient mice in a well-characterized murine model of bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis. C5-deficient mice had an exaggerated inflammatory phenotype compared with C5-sufficient mice during acute bleomycin-induced lung injury. These findings suggest a protective and anti-inflammatory role for C5, which was linked to the regulation of matrix metalloproteinases involved in cell migration. In contrast, CS had a detrimental effect during chronic stages of bleomycin-induced injury, indicating a profibrotic role for C5. This deleterious activity for C5 was associated with expression of the fibrogenic cytokine TGF-β1 and matrix metalloproteinase-3, an important mediator in fibroblast contraction. Altogether, our data reveal novel and opposing roles for CS in both inflammation and tissue repair. Furthermore, these findings provide insight into the development of new therapeutic strategies for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1894-1902
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 01.08.2005


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