Web of Science: 36 citations, Scopus: 31 citations, Google Scholar: citations,
Therapeutic effects of telomerase in mice with pulmonary fibrosis induced by damage to the lungs and short telomeres
Povedano, Juan Manuel
Martinez, Paula
Serrano, Rosa
Tejera, Águeda
Gómez-López, Gonzalo
Bobadilla, Maria
Flores, Juana Maria (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Departament de Bioquímica i de Biologia Molecular)
Bosch, Fátima
Blasco, María A

Date: 2018
Abstract: Pulmonary fibrosis is a fatal lung disease characterized by fibrotic foci and inflammatory infiltrates. Short telomeres can impair tissue regeneration and are found both in hereditary and sporadic cases. We show here that telomerase expression using AAV9 vectors shows therapeutic effects in a mouse model of pulmonary fibrosis owing to a low-dose bleomycin insult and short telomeres. AAV9 preferentially targets regenerative alveolar type II cells (ATII). AAV9- Tert -treated mice show improved lung function and lower inflammation and fibrosis at 1-3 weeks after viral treatment, and improvement or disappearance of the fibrosis at 8 weeks after treatment. AAV9- Tert treatment leads to longer telomeres and increased proliferation of ATII cells, as well as lower DNA damage, apoptosis, and senescence. Transcriptome analysis of ATII cells confirms downregulation of fibrosis and inflammation pathways. We provide a proof-of-principle that telomerase activation may represent an effective treatment for pulmonary fibrosis provoked or associated with short telomeres. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (or IPF for short) is a rare disease that scars the lungs. The condition gets worse over time, making it harder and harder to breathe, and eventually leading to death. Patients typically only survive for a few years after being diagnosed with IPF. This is because, as yet, there is no cure; the available treatments only act to lessen the symptoms. Several risk factors have linked to the development of IPF, among them, the presence of short telomeres. Like the plastic tips on shoelaces, telomeres are protective structures at the ends of chromosomes. Telomeres shorten with age, and when they become too short the cell stops dividing and often dies in a process known as apoptosis. IPF can develop when the telomeres in the cells that repair everyday wear and tear in the lungs (known as ATII cells) become too short. This means that the damage goes unrepaired, triggering an immune reaction and uncontrolled scarring. Telomerase is an enzyme that can lengthen short telomeres, and Povedano, Martínez et al. set out to develop a new treatment approach that would use this enzyme to correct the short telomeres, and cure the scarring seen in IPF. Gene therapy was used to introduce the gene for telomerase into mice that had scarring in their lungs due to short telomeres. Povedano, Martínez et al. found that, when injected into the mice, the telomerase gene therapy was able to reach ATII cells and could help to heal the lungs. At the level of individual cells, mice treated with telomerase had longer telomeres, meaning that more of their ATII cells stayed alive and kept dividing to regenerate the lung tissue. Consistent with previous studies, the telomerase gene therapy caused no negative side effects in the mice; for example, there was no increased risk of cancer. These findings may possibly lead to new treatments for those patients suffering from IPF associated with short telomeres. Developing this approach into a clinical trial could in the future benefit many IPF patients who currently have very limited treatment options.
Note: Número d'acord de subvenció MINECO/SAF2013-45111-R
Rights: Aquest document està subjecte a una llicència d'ús Creative Commons. Es permet la reproducció total o parcial, la distribució, la comunicació pública de l'obra i la creació d'obres derivades, fins i tot amb finalitats comercials, sempre i quan es reconegui l'autoria de l'obra original. Creative Commons
Language: Anglès
Document: article ; recerca ; publishedVersion
Subject: AAV9 ; Chromosomes ; Gene therapy ; Genes ; Mouse ; Pulmonary fibrosis ; Telomerase ; Telomeres
Published in: eLife, Vol. 7 (january 2018) , ISSN 2050-084X

DOI: 10.7554/eLife.31299
PMID: 29378675


24 p, 5.3 MB

The record appears in these collections:
Articles > Research articles
Articles > Published articles

 Record created 2018-03-06, last modified 2021-03-08



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