Greater cellular stiffness in fibroblasts from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

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Journal Article
American Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, 2018, 315 (1), pp. L59 - L65
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© 2018 the American Physiological Society and American Physiological Society. All rights reserved. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a lethal lung disease involving degenerative breathing capacity. Fibrotic disease is driven by dysregulation in mechanical forces at the organ, tissue, and cellular level. While it is known that, in certain patholo-gies, diseased cells are stiffer than healthy cells, it is not known if fibroblasts derived from patients with IPF are stiffer than their normal counterparts. Using IPF patient-derived cell cultures, we measured the stiffness of individual lung fibroblasts via high-resolution force maps using atomic force microscopy. Fibroblasts from patients with IPF were stiffer and had an augmented cytoskeletal response to transforming growth factor-β1 compared with fibroblasts from donors without IPF. The results from this novel study indicate that the increased stiffness of lung fibroblasts of IPF patients may contribute to the increased rigidity of fibrotic lung tissue.
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