A plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 promoter polymorphism and idiopathic interstitial pneumonia
Lung Diseases, Interstitial
Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1
Promoter Regions, Genetic
The normal fibrinolytic activity within the alveolar space is suppressed in fibrotic lung diseases in part because of increased levels of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1). Studies with animals have shown that inhibition of the plasminogen system by PAI-1 increases the generation of pulmonary fibrosis. To determine if a similar relationship occurs in human fibrotic lung diseases, we took advantage of a polymorphism (4G/5G) that occurs in the promoter region of the human PAI-1 gene and influences the expression of PAI-1. We hypothesized that the 4G/4G genotype, because of its association with higher levels of PAI-1, would occur in patients with idiopathic interstitial pneumonia more frequently than in a control population. PAI-1 promoter genotype was determined in 88 well-characterized patients with idiopathic interstitial pneumonia consisting of 62 patients with usual interstitial pneumonia and 26 with nonspecific interstitial pneumonia. DNA was extracted from paraffin-embedded biopsy tissue and the genotype identified by polymerase chain reaction and restriction endonuclease digestion. We found that the distribution of PAI-1 genotypes in the idiopathic interstitial pneumonia population was similar to that of a large control population. However, subgroup analysis showed that patients with nonspecific interstitial pneumonia were more likely than the control population to have the promoter genotype (4G/4G) that is associated with higher levels of PAI-1. A similar pattern in PAI-1 polymorphism was not seen in the usual interstitial pneumonia subgroup. The results of this study support the conclusion that PAl-1 expression influences the development of nonspecific interstitial pneumonia in a similar manner to what occurs in animal models of pulmonary fibrosis. Patients with usual interstitial pneumonia did not show the same relationship with PAl-1 genotype.