Exposure to crystalline silica particles causes silicosis, an occupational disease leading to an overproduction of collagen in the lung. The first step of this pathology is characterized by the release of inflammatory mediators. Tumour necrosis factor (TNF) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine directly involved in silica-induced pulmonary fibrosis. The marine demosponge Chondrosia reniformis is able to incorporate silica grains and partially dissolve the crystalline forms apparently without toxic effects. In the present work, C. reniformis tissue explants were treated with fine quartz dust and the expression level of fibrogenic genes was assayed by qPCR, demonstrating an overexpression of a fibrillar and a non-fibrillar collagen and of prolyl-4-hydroxylase enzyme. The deposition of new collagen could also be documented in quartztreated sponge explants. Furthermore, TNF pro-inflammatory cytokine overexpression and involvement in silica-induced sponge collagen biosynthesis was demonstrated in quartz-treated explants as compared with controls by means of specific TNF inhibitors affecting the fibrogenic gene response. As no documentable detrimental effect was observed in treated explants, we conclude that the C. reniformis unique quartz engulfment and erosion is physiological and beneficial to the animal, leading to new collagen synthesis and strengthening of the body stiffness. Thus, we put forward the hypothesis that an ancient physiological behaviour from the lowest of the Metazoa, persisting through evolution via the samemolecularmediators such as TNF, may have become the cause of disease in the specialized tissues of higher animals such as mammals.

Silica-induced fibrosis: An ancient response from the early metazoans

Pozzolini, Marina;Scarfi, Sonia;Gallus, Lorenzo;Ferrando, Sara;Giovine, Marco
2017

Abstract

Exposure to crystalline silica particles causes silicosis, an occupational disease leading to an overproduction of collagen in the lung. The first step of this pathology is characterized by the release of inflammatory mediators. Tumour necrosis factor (TNF) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine directly involved in silica-induced pulmonary fibrosis. The marine demosponge Chondrosia reniformis is able to incorporate silica grains and partially dissolve the crystalline forms apparently without toxic effects. In the present work, C. reniformis tissue explants were treated with fine quartz dust and the expression level of fibrogenic genes was assayed by qPCR, demonstrating an overexpression of a fibrillar and a non-fibrillar collagen and of prolyl-4-hydroxylase enzyme. The deposition of new collagen could also be documented in quartztreated sponge explants. Furthermore, TNF pro-inflammatory cytokine overexpression and involvement in silica-induced sponge collagen biosynthesis was demonstrated in quartz-treated explants as compared with controls by means of specific TNF inhibitors affecting the fibrogenic gene response. As no documentable detrimental effect was observed in treated explants, we conclude that the C. reniformis unique quartz engulfment and erosion is physiological and beneficial to the animal, leading to new collagen synthesis and strengthening of the body stiffness. Thus, we put forward the hypothesis that an ancient physiological behaviour from the lowest of the Metazoa, persisting through evolution via the samemolecularmediators such as TNF, may have become the cause of disease in the specialized tissues of higher animals such as mammals.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
JEB Sponges quartz fibrosis 2017.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: articolo
Tipologia: Documento in versione editoriale
Dimensione 681.08 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
681.08 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/895926
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 5
  • Scopus 11
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 11
social impact