Supplementary Material for: Highly Selective Endothelin-1 Receptor A Inhibition Prevents Bleomycin-Induced Pulmonary Inflammation and Fibrosis in Mice

Background: Pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic disease, which progressively leads to respiratory failure and ultimately death. Endothelin-1 (ET-1), a vasoconstrictor secreted by endothelial cells, promotes vasoconstriction by activation of its receptors A and B. Objectives: We addressed the role of highly selective ET-1 receptor A (ETA) inhibition in the pathogenesis of experimental pulmonary fibrosis by bleomycin (BLM). Methods: BLM sulfate (2 U/mL) or saline was intratracheally administered to C57/Bl6 mice (4 groups; n = 5-11/group). Pretreatment with the highly selective ETA receptor inhibitor sitaxentan (15 mg/kg/day) was started 1 day prior to BLM injection and continued for the duration of the experiment. Lung mechanics were assessed prior to sacrifice at days 7, 14, and 21 after BLM, followed by procurement of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), blood, and lung tissue samples. Results: Time-dependent effects of BLM exposure included decreased static compliance and increased lung elastance, airspace inflammation and microvascular permeability, histological acute lung injury and fibrosis, and lung collagen deposition. Pretreatment with highly selective ETA receptor inhibitor had no adverse effect on control mice but improved lung mechanics and lung injury score in addition to decreasing BALF pleocytosis, protein content, and collagen deposition in BLM-treated mice. Mortality from BLM reached 40% and occurred primarily during the inflammatory stage of the model but was abrogated by sitaxentan pretreatment. Conclusions: We conclude that in our BLM-induced pulmonary fibrosis model, prophylactic highly selective ETA inhibition improves survival, preserves lung function, attenuates lung injury, and reduces collagen deposition.