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Suberanilohydroxamic acid (SAHA) inhibits collagen deposition in a transforming growth factor ?1-driven precision cut lung slice (PCLS) model of pulmonary fibrosis

Brand, Oliver J.; Pasini, Alice; Habgood, Antony; Knox, Alan J.; Jenkins, Gisli; Pang, Linhua


Oliver J. Brand

Alice Pasini

Antony Habgood

Alan J. Knox

Gisli Jenkins

Linhua Pang


Introduction and Objectives: Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic, progressive interstitial lung disease that is refractory to current treatment options. Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 is a key pro-fibrotic cytokine that plays a crucial role in IPF pathogenesis. Our group previously demonstrated distinct epigenetic modifications involved in repression of the antifibrotic gene cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in fibroblasts from IPF (F-IPF) lungs compared with fibroblasts from non-fibrotic lungs (F-NL). Epigenetic drugs capable of inhibiting DNA and histone modifications may, therefore, represent a putative novel therapy. The aim of this study was to investigate the ability of 4 epigenetic inhibitors to regulate TGF-β-driven fibrosis in ex vivo mouse lung.
Methods: A precision-cut lung slice (PCLS) model of fibrosis was established using the previously described [1] CC10-tTS-rtTA-TGFβ1 transgenic (tgTGF-β1) mouse. The model was first assessed by investigating PCLS overexpression of TGF-β1 in response to stimulation of the transgene by doxycycline treatment. Gene expression of COX-2 and fibrotic markers including collagen were assessed after 4 days of treatment. The anti-fibrotic potential of 4 epigenetic inhibitors; BIX01294 (BIX, inhibitor of G9a histone methyltransferase), 3-deazaneplanocin A (DZNep, inhibitor of EZH2 histone methyltransferase), SAHA (inhibitor of histone deacetylases, HDACs) and Decitabine (DAC, DNA demethylating agent) was investigated. Viability of PCLS was assessed by MTT and Prestoblue® viability assay.
Results: Treatment of PCLS from tgTGF-β1 mice with doxycycline induced a concentration-dependent increase in global TGF-β1, pro-fibrotic markers including collagen and pro-inflammatory COX-2, which was comparable to recombinant TGF-β1 treatment. Treatment with three of the epigenetic inhibitors BIX01294, DZNep and DAC did not reduce the pro-fibrotic response following doxycycline treatment. However SAHA demonstrated a significant suppressive effect on COX-2 and collagen expression, while not directly affecting TGF-β1 transgene expression.
Conclusions: The data suggests that SAHA has the potential to reduce fibrosis in a TGF-β1 driven model of pulmonary fibrosis. Further work is currently underway to assess the anti-fibrotic potential of this drug in tgTGF-β1 animals.


Brand, O. J., Pasini, A., Habgood, A., Knox, A. J., Jenkins, G., & Pang, L. (2016). Suberanilohydroxamic acid (SAHA) inhibits collagen deposition in a transforming growth factor ?1-driven precision cut lung slice (PCLS) model of pulmonary fibrosis. Thorax, 71(Suppl. 3), A31.

Journal Article Type Conference Paper
Conference Name British Thoracic Society Winter Meeting 2016
End Date Dec 9, 2016
Acceptance Date Oct 18, 2016
Online Publication Date Nov 15, 2016
Publication Date Dec 30, 2016
Deposit Date Nov 16, 2016
Publicly Available Date Nov 16, 2016
Print ISSN 0040-6376
Electronic ISSN 1468-3296
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 71
Issue Suppl. 3
Pages A31
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Conference abstract from British Thoracic Society Winter Meeting 2016.


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