Accelerated development of pulmonary fibrosis via Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase-induced alternative activation of macrophages

Academic Article


  • Macrophages not only initiate and accentuate inflammation after tissue injury, but they are also involved in resolution and repair. This difference in macrophage activity is the result of a differentiation process to either M1 or M2 phenotypes. M1 macrophages are pro-inflammatory and have microbicidal and tumoricidal activity, whereas the M2 macrophages are involved in tumor progression and tissue remodeling and can be profibrotic in certain conditions. Because mitochondrial Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase (Cu,Zn-SOD)-mediated H 2O2 is crucial for development of pulmonary fibrosis, we hypothesized that Cu,Zn-SOD modulated the macrophage phenotype. In this study, we demonstrate that Cu,Zn-SOD polarized macrophages to an M2 phenotype, and Cu,Zn-SOD-mediated H2O2 levels modulated M2 gene expression at the transcriptional level by redox regulation of a critical cysteine in STAT6. Furthermore, overexpression of Cu,Zn-SOD in mice resulted in a profibrotic environment and accelerated the development of pulmonary fibrosis, whereas polarization of macrophages to the M1 phenotype attenuated pulmonary fibrosis. Taken together, these observations provide a novel mechanism of Cu,Zn-SOD-mediated and Th2-independent M2 polarization and provide a potential therapeutic target for attenuating the accelerated development of pulmonary fibrosis.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 9533254
  • Author List

  • He C; Ryan AJ; Murthy S; Carter AB
  • Start Page

  • 20745
  • End Page

  • 20757
  • Volume

  • 288
  • Issue

  • 28