The Role of Interaction between Mitochondria and the Extracellular Matrix in the Development of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2021 Oct 18;2021:9932442. doi: 10.1155/2021/9932442. eCollection 2021.


Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a condition which affects mainly older adults, that suggests mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress, which follow cells senescence, and might contribute to the disease onset. We have assumed pathogenesis associated with crosstalk between the extracellular matrix (ECM) and mitochondria, mainly based on mitochondrial equilibrium impairment consisting of (1) tyrosine kinases and serine-threonine kinase (TKs and ST-Ks) activation via cytokines, (2) mitochondrial electron transport chain dysfunction and in consequence electrons leak with lower ATP synthesis, (3) the activation of latent TGF-β via αVβ6 integrin, (4) tensions transduction via α2β1 integrin, (5) inefficient mitophagy, and (6) stress inhibited biogenesis. Mitochondria dysfunction influences ECM composition and vice versa. Damaged mitochondria release mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mtROS) and the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) to the microenvironment. Therefore, airway epithelial cells (AECs) undergo transition and secrete cytokines. Described factors initiate an inflammatory process with immunological enhancement. In consequence, local fibroblasts exposed to harmful conditions transform into myofibroblasts, produce ECM, and induce progression of fibrosis. In our review, we summarize numerous aspects of mitochondrial pathobiology, which seem to be involved in the pathogenesis of lung fibrosis. In addition, an increasing body of evidence suggests considering crosstalk between the ECM and mitochondria in this context. Moreover, mitochondria and ECM seem to be important players in the antifibrotic treatment of IPF.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antifibrotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cellular Senescence
  • Disease Progression
  • Extracellular Matrix / drug effects
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism*
  • Extracellular Matrix / pathology
  • Humans
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / drug therapy
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / metabolism*
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / pathology
  • Lung / drug effects
  • Lung / metabolism*
  • Lung / pathology
  • Mitochondria / drug effects
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Mitochondria / pathology
  • Myofibroblasts / drug effects
  • Myofibroblasts / metabolism*
  • Myofibroblasts / pathology
  • Signal Transduction


  • Antifibrotic Agents