Pulmonary Fibrosis and Diabetes Mellitus: Two coins with the same face

Author(s): Yssel Mendoza Mari, Marcel P. Fraix, Devendra K. Agrawal

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) constitutes a long-term disease with a complex pathophysiology composed of multiple molecular actors that lead to the deposition of extracellular matrix, the loss of pulmonary function and ultimately the patient’s death. Despite the approval of pirfenidone and nintedanib for the treatment of the disease, lung transplant is the only long-term solution to fully recover the respiratory capacity and gain quality of life. One of the risk factors for the development of IPF is the pre-existing condition of diabetes mellitus. Both, IPF and diabetes mellitus, share similar pathological damage mechanisms, including inflammation, endoplasmic reticulum stress, mitochondrial failure, oxidative stress, senescence and signaling from glycated proteins through receptors. In this critical review article, we provide information about this interrelationship, examining molecular mediators that play an essential role in both diseases and identify targets of interest for the development of potential drugs. We review the findings of clinical trials examining the progression of IPF and how novel molecules may be used to stop this process. The results highlight the importance of early detection and addressing multiple therapeutic targets simultaneously to achieve better therapeutic efficacy and potentially reverse lung fibrosis.

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