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Med. Sci. 2018, 6(3), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci6030058

Causes of Pulmonary Fibrosis in the Elderly

1
Unidad Médico-Quirúrgica de Enfermedades Respiratorias, Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocío, Instituto de Biomedicina de Sevilla, 41013 Sevilla, Spain
2
Centro de Investigación en Red de Enfermedades Respiratorias (CIBERES), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, 28029 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 May 2018 / Revised: 16 July 2018 / Accepted: 16 July 2018 / Published: 24 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis)
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Abstract

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is the most common and most lethal type of idiopathic interstitial pneumonia. It is a chronic, aging-associated lung disease characterized by fibrotic foci and inflammatory infiltrates, with no cure and very limited therapeutic options. Although its etiology is unknown, several pathogenic pathways have been described that could explain this process, involving aging, environmental factors, genomic instability, loss of proteostasis, telomere attrition, epigenetic changes, mitochondrial dysfunction, cell senescence, and altered intercellular communication. One of the main prognostic factors for the development of IPF in broad epidemiological studies is age. The incidence increases with age, making this a disease that predominantly affects the elderly population, being exceptional under 45 years of age. However, the degree to which each of these mechanisms is involved in the etiology of the uncontrolled fibrogenesis that defines IPF is still unknown. Clarifying these questions is crucial to the development of points of intervention in the pathogenesis of the disease. This review briefly summarizes what is known about each possible etiological factor, and the questions that most urgently need to be addressed. View Full-Text
Keywords: aging; idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; extracellular matrix; fibroblasts; alveolar epithelial cell aging; idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; extracellular matrix; fibroblasts; alveolar epithelial cell
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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López-Ramírez, C.; Suarez Valdivia, L.; Rodríguez Portal, J.A. Causes of Pulmonary Fibrosis in the Elderly. Med. Sci. 2018, 6, 58.

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