The Journal of Medical Investigation
Online ISSN : 1349-6867
Print ISSN : 1343-1420
ISSN-L : 1343-1420
Functional analysis of human fibrocytes derived from monocytes reveals their profibrotic phenotype through paracrine effects
Shuichi AbeSeidai SatoYoshinori AonoMomoyo AzumaMasami KishiKazuya KoyamaNaoki TakahashiKozo KagawaHiroshi KawanoYasuhiko Nishioka
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2020 Volume 67 Issue 1.2 Pages 102-112


Fibrocytes, which are bone marrow-derived collagen-producing cells, were reported to play a role in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis. However, their function in pulmonary fibrosis is unclear. We analyzed their function compared with that of monocytes and localization in fibrotic tissues in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). We compared the gene expression profile of monocyte-derived fibrocytes with that of monocytes by microarray analysis. Proliferation and differentiation into myofibroblasts were examined by 3H-thymidine incorporation assay and Western blotting. We measured the level of growth factors in the culture supernatant of fibrocytes by ELISA. The localization of fibrocytes in lung tissues of patients with IPF was determined by immunofluorescence staining. Compared with monocytes, fibrocytes had higher expression of extracellular matrix- and growth factor-encoding genes, including PDGF-B, FGF-2 and VEGF-B. Although fibrocytes did not proliferate in response to PDGF, co-culture of fibrocytes stimulated the growth of lung fibroblasts through the production of PDGF-BB. In the lung of IPF patients, CD45+Collagen-I+FSP-1+ cells, which have a similar phenotype to fibrocytes, were detected and co-stained with anti-PDGF antibody. This study suggested that fibrocytes function in pulmonary fibrosis partly by producing PDGF in the lungs of IPF patients. J. Med. Invest. 67 : 102-112, February, 2020

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