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Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is a progressive fatal disorder and is characterized by alveolar epithelial injury, myofibroblast proliferation, and extracellular matrix remodeling, resulting in irreversible distortion of lung's architecture. Available therapies are associated with side effects and show restricted efficacy. Therefore, there is an urgent need to find a therapeutic solution to PF. Therapeutic strategies interfering myofibroblast expansion, apoptosis of epithelial and endothelial cells might be beneficial for treatment of PF. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), a pleiotropic growth factor, plays an important role in lung development, inflammation, repair, and regeneration. In animal model of PF, administration of recombinant HGF protein or ectopic HGF expression ameliorates fibrosis. The focus of this review is to highlight HGF as a promising therapeutic approach for the treatment of PF. The review discusses the currently available treatment option for PF as well as highlights the possible beneficial effect of HGF as a drug target. EXPERT OPInion: HGF with its anti-fibrotic effect provides a promising new therapeutic approach by protecting lung from fibrotic remodeling and also promoting normal regeneration of lung. The development of HGF mimetics may provide a potential attractive therapy for treatment of this devastating and complex disease.


Sushmita Chakraborty, Puneet Chopra, Anushree Hak, Sunanda Ghosh Dastidar, Abhijit Ray. Hepatocyte growth factor is an attractive target for the treatment of pulmonary fibrosis. Expert opinion on investigational drugs. 2013 Apr;22(4):499-515

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PMID: 23484858

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