International Journal of Medical Sciences

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23 January 2019

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Int J Med Sci 2014; 11(6):578-586. doi:10.7150/ijms.8365

Research Paper

Tanshinone IIA Attenuates Bleomycin-Induced Pulmonary Fibrosis via Modulating Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/ Angiotensin-(1-7) Axis in Rats

Huajie Wu1,3*, Yan Li4*, Yanxia Wang2,3*, Dunquan Xu2, Congcong Li5, Manling Liu2, Xin Sun1✉, Zhichao Li2,3✉

1. Department of Pediatrics of Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University;
2. Department of Pathophysiology, Fourth Military Medical University;
3. Lung Injury and Repair Center, Fourth Military Medical University;
4. Medical Examination Center of Beijing Military General Hospital;
5. Department of Respiratory Medicine, Tangdu Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University.
* Contributed equally to the study.


Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is a common complication in those interstitial lung diseases patients, which will result in poor prognosis and short survival. Traditional therapeutic methods such as glucocorticoid and cytotoxic drugs are insufficient for treating PF and may cause severe side effects. Recent studies showed that traditional Chinese herbal abstraction such as Tanshinone IIA (TIIA) was displayed significant anti-PF effects in animal models. However, the exact mechanisms underlying the protective effects of TIIA were not fully understood. Here we further investigated the protective effects of TIIA and its mechanisms underlying. PF models of rat were induced by bleomycin (BLM); TIIA was administered subsequently. The PF changes were identified by histopathological analyses. The results showed that BLM resulted in severe PF and alveolar inflammation; together with significant elevation of transforming growth factor-β 1 (TGF-β1). Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) together with angiotensin-(1-7) [ANG-(1-7)] were both greatly reduced after BLM administration. TIIA treatment notably attenuated BLM induced PF and inflammation, decreased expression of TGF-β1 and reversed ACE-2 and ANG-(1-7) production in rat lungs. Thus we may draw the conclusion that TIIA may exert protective effects on BLM induced PF in rats, and the ACE-2/ANG-(1-7) axis may ascribe to those protective effects.

Keywords: Pulmonary fibrosis, transforming growth factor beta, Tanshinone IIA, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, ANG-(1-7).

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How to cite this article:
Wu H, Li Y, Wang Y, Xu D, Li C, Liu M, Sun X, Li Z. Tanshinone IIA Attenuates Bleomycin-Induced Pulmonary Fibrosis via Modulating Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/ Angiotensin-(1-7) Axis in Rats. Int J Med Sci 2014; 11(6):578-586. doi:10.7150/ijms.8365. Available from