Epithelial neoplasia coincides with exacerbated injury and fibrotic response in the lungs of Gprc5a-knockout mice following silica exposure

Xiaofei Wang, Dongliang Xu, Yueling Liao, Shuangshuang Zhong, Hongyong Song, Beibei Sun, Binhua P. Zhou, Jiong Deng, Baohui Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Exposure to crystalline silica is suggested to increase the risk for a variety of lung diseases, including fibrosis and lung cancer. However, epidemiological evidences for the exposure-risk relationship are ambiguous and conflicting, and experimental study from a reliable animal model to explore the relationship is lacking. We reasoned that a mouse model that is sensitive to both lung injury and tumorigenesis would be appropriate to evaluate the exposure-risk relationship. Previously, we showed that, Gprc5a-/- mice are susceptible to both lung tumorigenesis and endotoxin-induced acute lung injury. In this study, we investigated the biological consequences in Gprc5a-/- mouse model following silica exposure. Intra-tracheal administration of fine silica particles in Gprc5a-/- mice resulted in more severe lung injury and pulmonary inflammation than in wild-type mice. Moreover, an enhanced fibrogenic response, including EMT-like characteristics, was induced in the lungs of Gprc5a-/- mice compared to those from wild-type ones. Importantly, increased hyperplasia or neoplasia coincided with silica-induced tissue injury and fibrogenic response in lungs from Gprc5a-/- mice. Consistently, expression of MMP9, TGFβ1 and EGFR was significantly increased in lungs from silica-treated Gprc5a-/- mice compared to those untreated or wild-type ones. These results suggest that, the process of tissue repair coincides with tissue damages; whereas persistent tissue damages leads to abnormal repair or neoplasia. Thus, silica-induced pulmonary inflammation and injury contribute to increased neoplasia development in lungs from Gprc5a-/- mouse model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39578-39593
Number of pages16
Issue number37
StatePublished - 2015


  • Fibrosis
  • Gprc5a
  • Lung cancer
  • Neoplasia
  • SiO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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