LncRNA MEG3 mediates nickel oxide nanoparticles-induced pulmonary fibrosis via suppressing TGF-β1 expression and epithelial-mesenchymal transition process.


Zhan H(1), Chang X(1), Wang X(1), Yang M(1), Gao Q(1), Liu H(1), Li C(1), Li S(2), Sun Y(1).
Author information:
(1)Department of Toxicology, School of Public Health, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China.
(2)Department of Public Health, The First People's Hospital of Lanzhou City, Lanzhou, China.


Nickel oxide nanoparticles (NiO NPs) causes pulmonary fibrosis via activating transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) in rats, but its upstream regulatory mechanisms are unknown. This study aimed to explore the role of long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) maternally expressed gene 3 (MEG3) in NiO NPs-induced collagen deposition. Male Wistar rats were intratracheally instilled with NiO NPs (0.015, 0.06, and 0.24 mg/kg b.w.) twice a week for 9 weeks. Human lung adenocarcinoma epithelial cells (A549 cells) were cultured with NiO NPs (25, 50, and 100 μg/ml) to establish collagen deposition model. We discovered that NiO NPs-induced rat pulmonary fibrosis was accompanied by the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) occurrence and MEG3 down-regulation in rat lung tissues. In cell collagen deposition model, NiO NPs also evoked EMT and decreased MEG3 expression in a dose-dependent manner in A549 cells. By overexpressing MEG3 in A549 cells, we found that MEG3 inhibited the level of TGF-β1, EMT process and collagen formation. Moreover, our data showed that SB431542 (TGF-β1 inhibitor) had an inhibitory effect on NiO NPs-induced EMT and collagen formation. Our results indicated that MEG3 inhibited NiO NPs-induced collagen deposition by regulating TGF-β1-mediated EMT process, which may provide some clues for insighting into the mechanisms of NiO NPs-induced pulmonary fibrosis.