JOURNAL ARTICLE

Role of the Hippo signaling pathway in safflower yellow pigment treatment of paraquat-induced pulmonary fibrosis

Hai Li, Baotian Kan, Lingli Song, Yufa Liu, Xiangdong Jian
Journal of International Medical Research 2020, 48 (9): 300060520905425
32940100

OBJECTIVE: To elucidate the molecular mechanisms by which safflower yellow (SY) mediates therapeutic effects in rats with paraquat intoxication-induced pulmonary fibrosis.

METHODS: Rats received combinations of paraquat, SY, and SB431542, a transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 receptor antagonist. Survival over 28 days was assessed by Kaplan-Meier analysis. Rat tissue and serum samples were assessed by hematoxylin and eosin staining, Masson's Trichrome staining, immunoblotting, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and transmission electron microscopy.

RESULTS: Survival rates were higher in SY and SB431542 groups (treatment and paraquat) than in the exposure group (paraquat alone). In the exposure group, serum TGF-β1 levels increased between days 3 and 14; mammalian STE20-like (MST) levels increased between days 3 and 7; TGF-β1 and Smad3 levels increased between days 3 and 14; and Yap and connective tissue growth factor levels increased between days 3 and 28. TGF-β1 levels were lower in SY and SB431542 groups than in the exposure group. Pathology scores were higher in exposure, SY, and SB431542 groups than in the control group throughout the experiment.

CONCLUSIONS: In rats with paraquat intoxication-induced pulmonary fibrosis, Hippo signaling could be activated by the MST-Yap pathway; SY and SB431542 could alleviate pulmonary fibrosis via Hippo signaling.

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