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The Rho Kinase Isoforms ROCK1 and ROCK2 Each Contribute to the Development of Experimental Pulmonary Fibrosis.

07:00 EST 6th December 2017 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "The Rho Kinase Isoforms ROCK1 and ROCK2 Each Contribute to the Development of Experimental Pulmonary Fibrosis."

Pulmonary fibrosis is thought to result from dysregulated wound repair after repetitive lung injury. Many cellular responses to injury involve rearrangements of the actin cytoskeleton mediated by the two isoforms of the Rho-associated coiled coil forming protein kinase, ROCK1 and ROCK2. Additionally, profibrotic mediators such as transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β), thrombin and lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) act through receptors that activate ROCK. Inhibition of ROCK activation may be a potent therapeutic strategy for human pulmonary fibrosis. Pharmacological inhibition of ROCK using non-selective ROCK inhibitors has been shown to prevent fibrosis in animal models, however the specific roles of each ROCK isoform are poorly understood. Furthermore, the pleiotropic effects of this kinase have raised concerns about on-target adverse effects of ROCK inhibition such as hypotension. Selective inhibition of one isoform might be a better tolerated strategy. Here we utilized a genetic approach to determine the roles of ROCK1 and ROCK2 in a mouse model of bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis. Using ROCK1 or ROCK2 haploinsufficient mice, we found that reduced expression of either ROCK1 or ROCK2 was sufficient to protect from bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis. In addition, we found that both isoforms contribute to the pro-fibrotic responses of epithelial cells, endothelial cells and fibroblasts. Interestingly, ROCK1 and ROCK2 haploinsufficient mice exhibited similar protection from bleomycin-induced vascular leak, myofibroblast differentiation and fibrosis; however, ROCK1 haploinsufficient mice demonstrated greater attenuation of epithelial cell apoptosis. These findings suggest that selective inhibition of either ROCK isoform has the potential to be an effective therapeutic strategy for pulmonary fibrosis.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: American journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology
ISSN: 1535-4989
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