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Emerging Therapeutic Targets and Therapies in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

  • Vineela Parvathaneni
  • Snehal K. Shukla
  • Vivek Gupta
Chapter
Part of the Molecular and Translational Medicine book series (MOLEMED)

Abstract

The human respiratory system is primarily comprised of airways and lungs which work efficiently in sync to promote efficient gaseous exchange. While the tissues of the respiratory system, especially lungs, provide a vast surface area which is instrumental in efficient gaseous exchange and drug absorption, this attribute also inadvertently exposes the respiratory system to the outside environment and hence imposes higher potential for injury and infections. Any injury (including infections) to any of the components of the respiratory system will affect the primary function of the respiratory system, leading to respiratory disorders. One of the major classes of restrictive lung diseases is known as “interstitial lung disease (ILD),” which is comprised of more than 200 lung diseases, characterized by involvement of the lung interstitium. One of the primary disorders classified as ILD is idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a fatal disorder characterized by the continued decline in lung function. While the underlying disease mechanisms in IPF are mostly unknown, however, it is characterized by the progressive scarring of both lungs. This scarring results in alveolar epithelial cell injury, the formation of myofibroblast foci, and buildup of extracellular matrix in the lung parenchyma leading to scarring (thickening) of the lungs. Numerous clinical trials are still in progress to develop a medication to treat this disease. In this chapter, we summarize the state of the art of IPF therapies from preclinical animals through human clinical trials. We present evidence for the role of co-occurring disorders (i.e., gastroesophageal reflux disease, pulmonary hypertension, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, infectious agents, and other genetic factors) on the severity of the progression of human IPF disease. We then discuss the evolving therapeutic targets, including alveolar epithelial cell injury, WNT/beta-catenin signaling, MMPs, and how these related to the traditional therapies like corticosteroids and immunomodulators with new treatments including anticoagulants, antifibrotic agents, antioxidants, and beyond which hold promise for future therapies and understanding of the pathogenesis of IPF.

Keywords

Therapy Lung Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis Gastroesophageal reflux disease GERD Cardiovascular disease Osteoporosis Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vineela Parvathaneni
    • 1
  • Snehal K. Shukla
    • 1
  • Vivek Gupta
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Pharmacy and Health SciencesSt. John’s UniversityQueensUSA

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