Vaccine improves fibrosis in mouse model of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive, fatal disease characterized by lung fibrosis and declining lung function. There are currently few effective treatments for IPF, and the median survival following diagnosis is between 2 and 5 years.
In this issue of JCI Insight, Maureen Horton and colleagues at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine report that intranasal administration of a vaccine for vaccinia, the virus that causes small pox, improved lung function in a mouse model of IPF. The vaccine induced a population of T cells, known as resident memory CD4+ T cells, within the lungs of treated mice, which was associated with fewer fibrosis-inducing cells within the lungs and a marked reduction in lung fibrosis.
These findings indicate that therapies to induce such immune cell populations may be a promising approach for the treatment of IPF.