Myofibroblast differentiation of lung resident mesenchymal stem cells (LR-MSC) plays an important role in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. By comparing the expression profiles of miRNAs before and after myofibroblast differentiation of LR-MSC, we identified miR-877-3p as a fibrosis-related miRNA. We found that miR-877-3p sequestration inhibited the myofibroblast differentiation of LR-MSC and attenuates bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis by targeting Smad7. Smad7, as an inhibitory smad in the TGF-β1 signaling pathway, was decreased in the myofibroblast differentiation of LR-MSC and up-regulation of Smad7 could inhibit the differentiation process. Our data implicates a potential application of miR-877-3p as a fibrosis suppressor for pulmonary fibrosis therapy and also as a fibrosis marker for predicting prognosis.
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