Asiatic acid prevents the development of interstitial lung disease in a hypochlorous acid-induced mouse model of scleroderma.
Oncol Lett. 2018 Jun ;15(6):8711-8716. Epub 2018 Apr 2. PMID: 29805609
Interstitial lung disease is the most common complication of systemic sclerosis (SSc) and is associated with a high rate of mortality. Due to the complex pathogenesis of SSc, the therapies currently available remain limited. In the present study, the effect of asiatic acid (AA) on SSc-associated pulmonary fibrosis (PF) and its association with the transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1)/Smad2/3 signaling pathway were evaluated. A hypochlorous acid (HOCl)-induced model of SSc was used to evaluate the therapeutic effect of AA on PF in SSc, where AA was administered to SSc mice by gavage. PF was alleviated in the AA-treated SSc mice groups when examined under light microscopy. In addition, there was a decrease in histopathological progression and collagen in the lungs. AA significantly reduced expression of type I collagen in the lungs of mice with SSc. It also significantly suppressed α-smooth muscle actin expression, which attenuated the conversion of fibroblasts into muscle fibroblasts. These AA-associated antifibrosis and anti-immune effects were mediated through the significant downregulation of advanced oxidation protein product, E-selectin, and anti-DNA topoisomerase-1 autoantibody levels in the serum. Furthermore, the expression levels of TGF-β1 andthe phosphorylated-Smad2/3/Smad2/3 ratios in AA-treated SSc mice were similar to the control. The presence of pulmonary inflammation and fibrosis was confirmed in the HOCl-induced SSc mice and the results demonstrated that selective inhibition of reactive oxygen species prevented PF. By focusing onthe classical TGF-β1/Smad2/3 signaling pathway, a mechanism of action of AA was identified to be associated with the inhibition of Smad2/3 activation through negative regulation of Smad2/3 phosphorylation.