Innate Immune Cytokines, Fibroblast Phenotypes, and Regulation of Extracellular Matrix in Lung
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Chronic inflammation can be caused by adaptive immune responses in autoimmune and allergic conditions, driven by a T lymphocyte subset balance (TH1, TH2, Th17, Th22, and/or Treg) and skewed cellular profiles in an antigen-specific manner. However, several chronic inflammatory diseases have no clearly defined adaptive immune mechanisms that drive chronicity. These conditions include those that affect the lung such as nonatopic asthma or idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis comprising significant health problems. The remodeling of extracellular matrix (ECM) causes organ dysfunction, and it is largely generated by fibroblasts as the major cell controlling net ECM. As such, these are potential targets of treatment approaches in the context of ECM pathology. Fibroblast phenotypes contribute to ECM and inflammatory cell accumulation, and they are integrated into chronic disease mechanisms including cancer. Evidence suggests that innate cytokine responses may be critical in nonallergic/nonautoimmune disease, and they enable environmental agent exposure mechanisms that are independent of adaptive immunity. Innate immune cytokines derived from macrophage subsets (M1/M2) and innate lymphoid cell (ILC) subsets can directly regulate fibroblast function. We also suggest that STAT3-activating gp130 cytokines can sensitize fibroblasts to the innate cytokine milieu to drive phenotypes and exacerbate existing adaptive responses. Here, we review evidence exploring innate cytokine regulation of fibroblast behavior.
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