The contribution of animal models to understanding the role of the immune system in human idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis


Pulmonary fibrosis occurs in a heterogeneous group of lung disorders and is characterised by an excessive deposition of extracellular matrix proteins within the pulmonary interstitium, leading to impaired gas transfer and a loss of lung function. In the past 10 years, there has been a dramatic increase in our understanding of the immune system and how it contributes to fibrogenic processes within the lung. This review will compare some of the models used to investigate the pathogenesis and treatment of pulmonary fibrosis, in particular those used to study immune cell pathogenicity in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, highlighting their advantages and disadvantages in dissecting human disease.


animal models, bleomycin, fibrogenesis, inflammation, innate and adaptive immune system

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