Background. Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is a fatal lung disease of unknown etiology characterized by interstitial fibrosis determining irreversible distortion of pulmonary architecture. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and markers of oxidative stress play a pivotal role in human IPF pathology, possibly through induction of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Methods. We investigated by immunohistochemistry, in UIP and COP tissue samples, the expression of most relevant markers of the molecular interplay involving RAGE, oxidant/antioxidant balance regulation, tissue nitrosylation, and mediators of EMT. Results. In both UIP and COP, the degree of RAGE expression was similarly high, while SODs and i-NOS, diffusely present in COP endoalveolar plugs, were almost absent in UIP fibroblast foci. A lower degree of tissue nitrosilation was observed in UIP than in COP. Conclusions. Fibroblast lesions of UIP and of COP share a similar degree of activation of RAGE, while antioxidant enzyme expression markedly reduced in UIP.
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