Abstract by Rebecca Viazzo
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Pam Van Ry
Improvements in Cell and Animal Models of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis using Pepsin
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is an interstitial lung disease affecting over 100,000 people annually in the United States. After diagnosis, the average life expectancy is 2-5 years. The cause is still unknown. IPF is characterized by tissue scarring and collagen build up in the lungs. Currently a chemotherapeutic agent bleomycin is used to induce fibrosis in cell and animal models. While bleomycin is commonly used, it is not a perfect model. We hypothesized Simulated Intestinal Fluid plus Pepin (SIFP) induction in cell and animal models would better mimic fibrosis predicting that SIFP would induce inflammatory responses and cellular senescence similar to IPF human patients. After analyzing collagen expression, inflammatory responses, destruction of epithelium, and cellular senescence in cells and fibrotic burden in mouse lungs, results concluded that pepsin is a contributing factor in the cause of fibrosis. We hope to continue our research by looking at long-term cell studies and aged mice to uncover the link between IPF and pepsin.