Special Issue "Lung Injury and Repair"

A special issue of Pharmaceuticals (ISSN 1424-8247). This special issue belongs to the section "Pharmacology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Nektarios Barabutis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Louisiana at Monroe, Monroe, LA 71201, United States
Interests: pathophysiology of acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome; P53 in the lung endothelium; unfolded protein response in the regulation of endothelial permeability; endoplasmic reticulum stress in the context of the lung microvasculature; heat shock proteins; extra hypothalamic effects of growth hormone-releasing hormone; endocrine-related cancer; reactive oxygen species; vascular biology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the launch of the Lung Injury and Repair Special Issue of Pharmaceuticals. This Special Issue will emphasize the most recent advances in the field of pulmonary biology and therapeutics, to provide the research and medical community with the most up-to-date information in the corresponding fields. We welcome the submission of manuscripts (research articles, reviews) investigating the etiologies of lung disease, as well as the development of medical countermeasures against lung injury (direct and indirect). Such injuries include (but are not limited to) the following: acute lung injury, acute respiratory distress syndrome, aspiration, sepsis, trauma, SARS-CoV-2-inflicted ARDS, pneumonia, fibrosis, lung endothelial, and epithelial cell injury. The further delineation of the signaling network that maintains states of lung health and disease will propel the discovery of highly targeted and efficacious approaches against the ferocious outcomes of respiratory dysfunction, including COVID-19.

Dr. Nektarios Barabutis
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Pharmaceuticals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • lung injury
  • acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • COVID-19
  • cardiovascular disease
  • lung disease
  • sepsis
  • unfolded protein response
  • endothelial permeability
  • inflammation
  • vascular biology

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Article
The Pathogenic Role of Smooth Muscle Cell-Derived Wnt5a in a Murine Model of Lung Fibrosis
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(8), 755; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14080755 - 31 Jul 2021
Viewed by 625
Abstract
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a disease characterized by extensive fibrosis of the lung tissue. Wnt5a expression was observed to be upregulated in IPF and suggested to be involved in the progression of the disease. Interestingly, smooth muscle cells (SMC) are a major [...] Read more.
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a disease characterized by extensive fibrosis of the lung tissue. Wnt5a expression was observed to be upregulated in IPF and suggested to be involved in the progression of the disease. Interestingly, smooth muscle cells (SMC) are a major source of Wnt5a in IPF patients. However, no study has been conducted until now to investigate the precise role of smooth muscle-derived Wnt5a in IPF. Here, we used the bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis model in a conditional gene-deficient mouse, where the Wnt5a gene was excised from SMC. We show here that the excision of the Wnt5a gene in SMC led to significantly improved health conditions with minimized weight loss and improved lung function. This improvement was based on a significantly lower deposition of collagen in the lung with a reduced number of fibrotic foci in lung parenchyma. Furthermore, the bleomycin-induced cellular infiltration into the airways was not altered in the gene-deficient mice compared with wild-type mice. Thus, we demonstrate that the Wnt5a expression of SMC of the airways leads to aggravated fibrosis of the lung with poor clinical conditions. This aggravation was not an influence in the bleomycin-induced inflammatory processes but on the development of fibrotic foci in lung parenchyma and the deposition of collagen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lung Injury and Repair)
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Article
Soluble Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) Is Upregulated and Soluble Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase (eNOS) Is Downregulated in COVID-19-induced Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(7), 695; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14070695 - 19 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 785
Abstract
A damaged endothelium is an underlying condition of the many complications of COVID-19 patients. The increased mortality risk associated with diseases that have underlying endothelial dysfunction, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), suggests that endothelial (e) nitric oxide synthase (NOS)-derived nitric oxide [...] Read more.
A damaged endothelium is an underlying condition of the many complications of COVID-19 patients. The increased mortality risk associated with diseases that have underlying endothelial dysfunction, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), suggests that endothelial (e) nitric oxide synthase (NOS)-derived nitric oxide could be an important defense mechanism. Additionally, intravenous recombinant angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) was recently reported as an effective therapy in severe COVID-19, by blocking viral entry, and thus reducing lung injury. Very few studies exist on the prognostic value of endothelium-related protective molecules in severe COVID-19 disease. To this end, serum levels of eNOS, inducible (i) NOS, adrenomedullin (ADM), soluble (s) ACE2 levels, and serum (s) ACE activity were measured on hospital admission in 89 COVID-19 patients, hospitalized either in a ward or ICU, of whom 68 had ARDS, while 21 did not. In our cohort, the COVID-19-ARDS patients had considerably lower eNOS levels compared to the COVID-19 non-ARDS patients. On the other hand, sACE2 was significantly higher in the ARDS patients. iNOS, ADM and sACE activity did not differ. Our results might support the notion of two distinct defense mechanisms in COVID-19-derived ARDS; eNOS-derived nitric oxide could be one of them, while the dramatic rise in sACE2 may also represent an endogenous mechanism involved in severe COVID-19 complications, such as ARDS. These results could provide insight to therapeutical applications in COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lung Injury and Repair)
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Article
HDAC Inhibitor Abrogates LTA−Induced PAI-1 Expression in Pleural Mesothelial Cells and Attenuates Experimental Pleural Fibrosis
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(6), 585; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14060585 - 18 Jun 2021
Viewed by 600
Abstract
Lipoteichoic acid (LTA) stimulates pleural mesothelial cell (PMC) to overproduce plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), and thus may promote pleural fibrosis in Gram-positive bacteria (GPB) parapneumonic effusion (PPE). Histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) was found to possess anti-fibrotic properties. However, the effects of HDACi on [...] Read more.
Lipoteichoic acid (LTA) stimulates pleural mesothelial cell (PMC) to overproduce plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), and thus may promote pleural fibrosis in Gram-positive bacteria (GPB) parapneumonic effusion (PPE). Histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) was found to possess anti-fibrotic properties. However, the effects of HDACi on pleural fibrosis remain unclear. The effusion PAI-1 was measured among 64 patients with GPB PPE. Pleural fibrosis was measured as radiographical residual pleural thickening (RPT) and opacity at a 12-month follow-up. The LTA−stimulated human PMCs and intrapleural doxycycline−injected rats were pretreated with or without the pan-HDACi, m-carboxycinnamic acid bis-hydroxamide (CBHA), then PAI-1 and collagen expression and activated signalings in PMCs, and morphologic pleural changes in rats were measured. Effusion PAI-1 levels were significantly higher in GPB PPE patients with RPT > 10 mm (n = 26) than those without (n = 38), and had positive correlation with pleural fibrosis shadowing. CBHA significantly reduced LTA−induced PAI-1 and collagen expression via inhibition of JNK, and decreased PAI-1 promoter activity and mRNA levels in PMCs. Furthermore, in doxycycline−treated rats, CBHA substantially repressed PAI-1 and collagen synthesis in pleural mesothelium and minimized pleural fibrosis. Conclusively, CBHA abrogates LTA−induced PAI-1 and collagen expression in PMCs and attenuates experimental pleural fibrosis. PAI-1 inhibition by HDACi may confer potential therapy for pleural fibrosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lung Injury and Repair)
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Article
Elucidation of the Molecular Pathways Involved in the Protective Effects of AUY-922 in LPS-Induced Inflammation in Mouse Lungs
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(6), 522; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14060522 - 29 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 958
Abstract
Acute lung injury (ALI) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) cause thousands of deaths every year and are associated with high mortality rates (~40%) due to the lack of efficient therapies. Understanding the molecular mechanisms associated with those diseases will most probably lead [...] Read more.
Acute lung injury (ALI) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) cause thousands of deaths every year and are associated with high mortality rates (~40%) due to the lack of efficient therapies. Understanding the molecular mechanisms associated with those diseases will most probably lead to novel therapeutics. In the present study, we investigated the effects of the Hsp90 inhibitor AUY-922 in the major inflammatory pathways of mouse lungs. Mice were treated with LPS (1.6 mg/kg) via intratracheal instillation for 24 h and were then post-treated intraperitoneally with AUY-922 (10 mg/kg). The animals were examined 48 h after AUY-922 injection. LPS activated the TLR4-mediated signaling pathways, which in turn induced the release of different inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. AUY-922 suppressed the LPS-induced inflammation by inhibiting major pro-inflammatory pathways (e.g., JAK2/STAT3, MAPKs), and downregulated the IL-1β, IL-6, MCP-1 and TNFα. The expression levels of the redox regulator APE1/Ref1, as well as the DNA-damage inducible kinases ATM and ATR, were also increased after LPS treatment. Those effects were counteracted by AUY-922. Interestingly, this Hsp90 inhibitor abolished the LPS-induced pIRE1α suppression, a major component of the unfolded protein response. Our study elucidates the molecular pathways involved in the progression of murine inflammation and supports our efforts on the development of new therapeutics against lung inflammatory diseases and sepsis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lung Injury and Repair)
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Article
Lipidated Peptidomimetic Ligand-Functionalized HER2 Targeted Liposome as Nano-Carrier Designed for Doxorubicin Delivery in Cancer Therapy
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(3), 221; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14030221 - 06 Mar 2021
Viewed by 786
Abstract
The therapeutic index of chemotherapeutic agents can be improved by the use of nano-carrier-mediated chemotherapeutic delivery. Ligand-targeted drug delivery can be used to achieve selective and specific delivery of chemotherapeutic agents to cancer cells. In this study, we prepared a peptidomimetic conjugate (SA-5)-tagged [...] Read more.
The therapeutic index of chemotherapeutic agents can be improved by the use of nano-carrier-mediated chemotherapeutic delivery. Ligand-targeted drug delivery can be used to achieve selective and specific delivery of chemotherapeutic agents to cancer cells. In this study, we prepared a peptidomimetic conjugate (SA-5)-tagged doxorubicin (Dox) incorporated liposome (LP) formulation (SA-5-Dox-LP) to evaluate the targeted delivery potential of SA-5 in human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2) overexpressed non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and breast cancer cell lines. The liposome was prepared using thin lipid film hydration and was characterized for particle size, encapsulation efficiency, cell viability, and targeted cellular uptake. In vivo evaluation of the liposomal formulation was performed in a mice model of NSCLC. The cell viability studies revealed that targeted SA-5-Dox-LP showed better antiproliferative activity than non-targeted Dox liposomes (Dox-LP). HER2-targeted liposome delivery showed selective cellular uptake compared to non-targeted liposomes on cancer cells. In vitro drug release studies indicated that Dox was released slowly from the formulations over 24 h, and there was no difference in Dox release between Dox-LP formulation and SA-5-Dox-LP formulation. In vivo studies in an NSCLC model of mice indicated that SA-5-Dox-LP could reduce the lung tumors significantly compared to vehicle control and Dox. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that the SA-5-Dox-LP liposome has the potential to increase therapeutic efficiency and targeted delivery of Dox in HER2 overexpressing cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lung Injury and Repair)
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Article
Secretory Phospholipase A2-IIA Protein and mRNA Pools in Extracellular Vesicles of Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid from Patients with Early Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: A New Perception in the Dissemination of Inflammation?
Pharmaceuticals 2020, 13(11), 415; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph13110415 - 23 Nov 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 780
Abstract
Secretory phospholipase-IIA A2 (sPLA2-IIA) is expressed in a variety of cell types under inflammatory conditions. Its presence in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid of patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is associated with the severity of the injury. Exosomal [...] Read more.
Secretory phospholipase-IIA A2 (sPLA2-IIA) is expressed in a variety of cell types under inflammatory conditions. Its presence in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid of patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is associated with the severity of the injury. Exosomal type extracellular vesicles, (EVs), are recognized to perform intercellular communication. They may alter the immune status of recipient target cells through cargo shuttling. In this work, we characterized the exosomal type EVs isolated from BAL fluid of patients with early and late ARDS as compared to control/non-ARDS patients, through morphological (confocal and electron microscopy) and biochemical (dynamic light scattering, qRT-PCR, immunoblotting) approaches. We provide evidence for the presence of an sPLA2-IIA-carrying EV pool that coprecipitates with exosomes in the BAL fluid of patients with ARDS. PLA2G2A mRNA was present in all the samples, although more prominently expressed in early ARDS. However, the protein was found only in EVs from early phase ARDS. Under both forms, sPLA2-IIA might be involved in inflammatory responses of recipient lung cells during ARDS. The perception of the association of sPLA2-IIA to the early diagnosis of ARDS or even with a mechanism of development and propagation of lung inflammation can help in the adoption of appropriate and innovative therapeutic strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lung Injury and Repair)
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Article
IGF1R and MAPK15 Emerge as Potential Targets of Pentabromobenzylisothioureas in Lung Neuroendocrine Neoplasms
Pharmaceuticals 2020, 13(11), 354; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph13110354 - 29 Oct 2020
Viewed by 580
Abstract
Pentabromobenzylisothioureas are antitumor agents with diverse properties, including the inhibition of MAPK15, IGF1R and PKD1 kinases. Their dysregulation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of several cancers, including bronchopulmonary neuroendocrine neoplasms (BP-NEN). The present study assesses the antitumor potential of ZKKs, a series [...] Read more.
Pentabromobenzylisothioureas are antitumor agents with diverse properties, including the inhibition of MAPK15, IGF1R and PKD1 kinases. Their dysregulation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of several cancers, including bronchopulmonary neuroendocrine neoplasms (BP-NEN). The present study assesses the antitumor potential of ZKKs, a series of pentabromobenzylisothioureas, on the growth of the lung carcinoid H727 cell line. It also evaluates the expression of MAPK15, IGF1R and PKD1 kinases in different BP-NENs. The viability of the H727 cell line was assessed by colorimetric MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide) and its proliferation by BrdU (5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine) assay. Tissue kinase expression was measured using TaqMan-based RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. ZKKs (10−4 to 10−5 M) strongly inhibited H727 cell viability and proliferation and their antineoplastic effects correlated with their concentrations (p < 0.001). IGF1R and MAPK15 were expressed at high levels in all subtypes of BP-NENs. In addition, the SCLC (small cell lung carcinoma) patients demonstrated higher mRNA levels of IGF1R (p = 0.010) and MAPK15 (p = 0.040) than the other BP-NEN groups. BP-NENs were characterized by low PKD1 expression, and lung neuroendocrine cancers demonstrated lower PKD1 mRNA levels than carcinoids (p = 0.003). ZKKs may suppress BP-NEN growth by inhibiting protein kinase activity. Our results suggest also a possible link between high IGF1R and MAPK15 expression and the aggressive phenotype of BP-NEN tumors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lung Injury and Repair)
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Review

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Review
Lung Fibrosis after COVID-19: Treatment Prospects
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(8), 807; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14080807 - 17 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1325
Abstract
At the end of 2019, a highly contagious infection began its ominous conquest of the world. It was soon discovered that the disease was caused by a novel coronavirus designated as SARS-CoV-2, and the disease was thus abbreviated to COVID-19 (COVID). The global [...] Read more.
At the end of 2019, a highly contagious infection began its ominous conquest of the world. It was soon discovered that the disease was caused by a novel coronavirus designated as SARS-CoV-2, and the disease was thus abbreviated to COVID-19 (COVID). The global medical community has directed its efforts not only to find effective therapies against the deadly pathogen but also to combat the concomitant complications. Two of the most common respiratory manifestations of COVID are a significant reduction in the diffusing capacity of the lungs (DLCO) and the associated pulmonary interstitial damage. One year after moderate COVID, the incidence rate of impaired DLCO and persistent lung damage still exceeds 30%, and one-third of the patients have severe DLCO impairment and fibrotic lung damage. The persistent respiratory complications may cause substantial population morbidity, long-term disability, and even death due to the lung fibrosis progression. The incidence of COVID-induced pulmonary fibrosis caused by COVID can be estimated based on a 15-year observational study of lung pathology after SARS. Most SARS patients with fibrotic lung damage recovered within the first year and then remained healthy; however, in 20% of the cases, significant fibrosis progression was found in 5–10 years. Based on these data, the incidence rate of post-COVID lung fibrosis can be estimated at 2–6% after moderate illness. What is worse, there are reasons to believe that fibrosis may become one of the major long-term complications of COVID, even in asymptomatic individuals. Currently, despite the best efforts of the global medical community, there are no treatments for COVID-induced pulmonary fibrosis. In this review, we analyze the latest data from ongoing clinical trials aimed at treating post-COVID lung fibrosis and analyze the rationale for the current drug candidates. We discuss the use of antifibrotic therapy for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, the IN01 vaccine, glucocorticosteroids as well as the stromal vascular fraction for the treatment and rehabilitation of patients with COVID-associated pulmonary damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lung Injury and Repair)
Review
Antifibrotic and Anti-Inflammatory Actions of α-Melanocytic Hormone: New Roles for an Old Player
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(1), 45; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14010045 - 08 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 940
Abstract
The melanocortin system encompasses melanocortin peptides, five receptors, and two endogenous antagonists. Besides pigmentary effects generated by α-Melanocytic Hormone (α-MSH), new physiologic roles in sexual activity, exocrine secretion, energy homeostasis, as well as immunomodulatory actions, exerted by melanocortins, have been described recently. Among [...] Read more.
The melanocortin system encompasses melanocortin peptides, five receptors, and two endogenous antagonists. Besides pigmentary effects generated by α-Melanocytic Hormone (α-MSH), new physiologic roles in sexual activity, exocrine secretion, energy homeostasis, as well as immunomodulatory actions, exerted by melanocortins, have been described recently. Among the most common and burdensome consequences of chronic inflammation is the development of fibrosis. Depending on the regenerative capacity of the affected tissue and the quality of the inflammatory response, the outcome is not always perfect, with the development of some fibrosis. Despite the heterogeneous etiology and clinical presentations, fibrosis in many pathological states follows the same path of activation or migration of fibroblasts, and the differentiation of fibroblasts to myofibroblasts, which produce collagen and α-SMA in fibrosing tissue. The melanocortin agonists might have favorable effects on the trajectories leading from tissue injury to inflammation, from inflammation to fibrosis, and from fibrosis to organ dysfunction. In this review we briefly summarized the data on structure, receptor signaling, and anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic properties of α-MSH and proposed that α-MSH analogues might be promising future therapeutic candidates for inflammatory and fibrotic diseases, regarding their favorable safety profile. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lung Injury and Repair)
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