Halofuginone, a coccidiostatic alkaloid, has anti-fibrotic properties, and may be useful as a therapeutic agent in lung fibrosis. To test this hypothesis we investigated the effect of halofuginone on bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis in Sprague-Dawley rats. Treatment groups included: (1) a single intratracheal (IT) instillation of 1.2U bleomycin, and intraperitoneal (IP) injection of halofuginone (0.5 mg/dose), every other day; (2) IT 1.2U bleomycin and IP distilled water (D.W.), every other day; (3) IT 0.8U bleomycin and daily IP halofuginone (0.5 mg/dose); (4) IT 0.8U bleomycin and daily IP D.W.; (5) IT saline and IP halofuginone, every other day; (6) IT saline and daily IP D.W.; (7) IT 0.625U bleomycin and oral halofuginone (10 mg/kg rodent lab chow); (8) IT 0.625U bleomycin and standard lab chow. Animals were studied 14 days after IT instillation. Lung injury was evaluated by total and differential cell count in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, by a semi-quantitative morphological index of lung injury, and by biochemical analysis of lung hydroxyproline content. Overt signs of lung injury were apparent in bleomycin-treated rats by all measures. These changes were not affected by treatment with halofuginone, irrespective of the treatment regimen used. This study does not support the use of halofuginone to prevent or ameliorate lung fibrosis.
- Interstitial lung disease