Previous evidence suggests a role for endothelin-1 (ET-1) in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis. To determine if ET-1 regulates collagen deposition in pulmonary fibrosis, we examined the effect of the non-selective ETA and ETB receptor antagonist bosentan (Ro 47-0203), and a selective ETA receptor antagonist, BQ-485, on collagen deposition during the development of bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis in rats. Lung collagen content, derived from measurements of hydroxyproline and expressed as mg collagen/lung, was increased in the bleomycin-treated animals by day 7 (bleomycin, 22.88+/-1.46; control 18.50+/-0.98; P<0.05), continued to increase up to day 14 (bleomycin, 38.80+/-2.17; control 22.57+/-0.77; P<0.001) and then remained constant to 21 days. Daily treatment by gavage with bosentan (100 mg/kg) did not prevent the increase in collagen deposition induced by instillation of bleomycin at any of the times measured. Continuous administration of BQ-485, by subcutaneously implanted minipump (7.5 mg/day), also failed to prevent the bleomycin-induced collagen deposition at 14 days. These findings suggest that ET-1 does not modulate collagen deposition during the development of bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis. Further studies are required to assess whether endothelin receptor antagonists modulate other components of the fibrotic response or play a role in man.
Copyright 1998 Academic Press.