Characterization of fibroblast-specific protein 1 in pulmonary fibrosis

William E. Lawson, Vasiliy V. Polosukhin, Ornella Zoia, Georgios T. Stathopoulos, Wei Han, David Plieth, James E. Loyd, Eric G. Neilson, Timothy S. Blackwell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

159 Scopus citations


Because fibroblasts produce collagen and other extracellular matrix components that are deposited during tissue fibrosis, defining the behavior of these cells is critical to understanding the pathogenesis of fibrotic diseases. We investigated the utility of fibroblast-specific protein 1 (FSP1), a member of the calmodulin S100 troponin C superfamily, for identifying lung fibroblasts in a murine model of pulmonary fibrosis induced by intratracheal administration of bleomycin. Protein and mRNA expression of FSP1 was minimal in untreated lungs, but increased by 1 week after bleomycin administration and remained increased at 2 and 3 weeks after treatment. By immunohistochemistry, the number of FSP1 + cells increased in a dose-dependent manner in the lungs after bleomycin treatment. Colocalization of α1 procollagen and FSP1 in interstitial cells demonstrated that FSP1+ fibroblasts contribute to the deposition of collagen after bleomycin administration. In primary lung cell cultures, lung fibroblasts, but not macrophages or type II alveolar epithelial cells, expressed FSP1. FSP1 also identified fibroblasts in lung biopsy specimens from patients with documented usual interstitial pneumonitis. Therefore, FSP1 is an improved marker for lung fibroblasts that could be useful for investigating the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)899-907
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2005


  • Bleomycin
  • Collagen
  • Lung
  • Mouse
  • α-smooth muscle actin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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