Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a complex lung disease, whose build-up scar tissue is induced by several molecules. Gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) is released from pulmonary neuroendocrine cells, alveolar macrophages, and some nerve endings in the lung. A possible role of GRP in IPF is unclear. We aimed to investigate the fibrotic response to GRP, at the cellular level in MRC5 and A549 cell lines. The proliferative and fibrotic effects of GRP on these cells were evaluated by using BrdU, immunoblotting, immunofluorescence and qRT-PCR for molecules associated with myofibroblast differentiation, TGF-beta and Wnt signalling. All doses of GRP increased the amount of BrdU incorporation in A549 cells. In contrast, the amount of BrdU increased in MRC5 cells in the first 24 h, though progressively decreased by 72 h. GRP did not stimulate epithelial-mesenchymal transition in A549 cells, rather, it stimulated the differentiation of MRC5 cells into myofibroblasts. Furthermore, GRP induced gene and protein expressions of p-Smad2/3 and Smad4, and reduced the levels of Smad7 in MRC5 cells. In addition, GRP decreased Wnt5a protein levels and stimulated beta-catenin activation by increasing Wnt4, Wnt7a and beta-catenin protein levels. GRP caused myofibroblast differentiation by inducing TGF-beta and Wnt pathways via paracrine and autocrine signalling in MRC5 cells. In conclusion, GRP may lead to pulmonary fibrosis due to its proliferative and fibrotic effects on lung fibroblasts. The abrogation of GRP-mediated signal activation might be considered as a treatment modality for fibrotic lung diseases.