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Ferroptosis Mediates Pulmonary Fibrosis: Implications for the Effect of Astragalus and Panax notoginseng Decoction.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the mechanism through which Astragalus and Panax notoginseng decoction (APD) facilitates the treatment of ferroptosis-mediated pulmonary fibrosis.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: First, the electromedical measurement systems were used to measure respiratory function in mice; the lungs were then collected for histological staining. Potential pharmacologic targets were predicted via network pharmacology. Finally, tests including immunohistochemistry, reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and western blotting were used to evaluate the relative expression levels of collagen, transforming growth factor β , α -smooth muscle actin, hydroxyproline, and ferroptosis-related genes (GPX4, SLC7A11, ACSL4, and PTGS2) and candidates involved in the mediation of pathways associated with ferroptosis (Hif-1 α and EGFR).

RESULTS: APD prevented the occurrence of restrictive ventilation dysfunction induced by ferroptosis. Extracellular matrix and collagen fiber deposition were significantly reduced when the APD group compared with the model group; furthermore, ferroptosis was attenuated, expression of PTGS2 and ACSL4 increased, and expression of GPX4 and SLC7A11 decreased. In the APD group, the candidates related to the mediation of ferroptosis (Hif-1 α and EGFR) decreased compared with the model group. Discussion and Conclusions . APD may ameliorate restrictive ventilatory dysfunction through the inhibition of ferroptosis. This was achieved through the attenuation of collagen deposition and inflammatory recruitment in pulmonary fibrosis. The underlying mechanisms might involve Hif-1 α and EGFR.

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