The role of the receptor for advanced glycation end-products in lung fibrosis

Mei He, Hiroshi Kubo, Kota Ishizawa, Ahmed E. Hegab, Yasuhiko Yamamoto, Hiroshi Yamamoto, Mutsuo Yamaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Citations (Scopus)


The pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis remains unclear. The receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) is a multi-ligand receptor known to be involved in the process of fibrotic change in several organs, such as peritoneal fibrosis and kidney fibrosis. The aim of this study was to examine the contribution of RAGE during the acute inflammation and chronic fibrotic phases of lung injury induced by intratracheal instillation of bleomycin in mice. Bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis was evaluated in wild-type and RAGE-deficient (RAGE-/-) mice. Bleomycin administration to wild-type mice caused an initial pneumonitis that evolved into fibrosis. While RAGE-/- mice developed a similar early inflammatory response, the mice were largely protected from the late fibrotic effects of bleomycin. The protection afforded by RAGE deficiency was accompanied by reduced pulmonary levels of the potent RAGE-inducible profibrotic cytokines transforming growth factor (TGF)-β and PDGF. In addition, bleomycin administration induced high mobility group box 1 (HMGB-1) production, one of the ligands of RAGE, from inflammatory cells that accumulated within the air space. Coculture with HMGB-1 induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in alveolar type II epithelial cells from wild-type mice. However, alveolar type II epithelial cells derived from RAGE-/- mice did not respond to HMGB-1 treatment, such that the RAGE/HMGB-1 axis may play an important role in EMT. Also, bleomycin administration induced profibrotic cytokines TGF-β and PDGF only in wild-type mouse lungs. Our results suggested that RAGE contributes to bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis through EMT and profibrotic cytokine production. Thus, RAGE may be a new therapeutic target for pulmonary fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L1427-L1436
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Dec


  • Alveolar type II epithelial cell
  • Epithelial-mesenchymal transition
  • HMGB-1
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Receptor for advanced glycation end-products

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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