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Autophagy promotes aortic adventitial fibrosis via the IL-6/Jak1 signaling pathway in Takayasu's arteritis.

Chen, Rongyi; Sun, Ying; Cui, Xiaomeng; Ji, Zongfei; Kong, Xiufang; Wu, Sifan; Huang, Qingrong; Dai, Xiaoming; Zhang, Si; Ma, Lili; Jiang, Lindi.
J Autoimmun; 99: 39-47, 2019 May.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30765261


Autophagy is a ubiquitous and evolutionarily conserved self-rescue process. Studies have shown that autophagy is involved in the pathogenesis of multiple diseases; however, whether autophagy is associated with the pathogenesis of Takayasu's arteritis (TA), a large vessel idiopathic inflammatory disease characterized by vascular fibrosis, remains unclear. Moreover, although IL-6 is believed to be a direct target for TA treatment, anti-IL-6 treatment could not block TA-associated fibrosis in some cases, which impairs the aortic function of patients and can result in death. Thus, identify the mechanisms associated with TA is extremely important. Based on the relationship between autophagy and IL-6, we investigated the role of autophagy in the vascular fibrosis of TA induced by IL-6.


Autophagy proteins (LC3 and Atg3), IL-6, and markers of fibrosis (collagen 1 and α-SMA) were detected in tissues with TA lesions via immunochemistry, immunofluorescence, and Western blot, respectively. Different stages of autophagy were analyzed by the specific inhibitors, 3-methyladenosine (early stage), hydroxychloroquine sulfate (late stage), and bafilomycin A1 (late stage). Autophagosomes were detected using electron microscopy and a viral-vector transfection assay. The fibrosis profiles induced by IL-6-dependent autophagy was assessed with an ELISA.


The expression of autophagy, IL-6, and fibrosis markers were elevated and correlated with each other in the adventitia tissues of TA patients. Furthermore, exogenous IL-6/IL-6Rα could significantly increase autophagy and fibrosis in vitro. An autophagy inhibitor was found to significantly block both autophagy and fibrosis induced by IL-6. Finally, IL-6 was found to significantly promote autophagy-induced fibrosis through the activation of the Jak1 pathway.


IL-6-induced autophagy plays an important role in vascular fibrosis of TA. Targeting autophagy pathways might represent a novel therapeutic option for the treatment of TA.
Selo DaSilva