Archives of Dermatological Research

, Volume 305, Issue 4, pp 341–352 | Cite as

Protection against TGF-β1-induced fibrosis effects of IL-10 on dermal fibroblasts and its potential therapeutics for the reduction of skin scarring

  • Ji-Hong Shi
  • Hao Guan
  • Shan Shi
  • Wei-Xia Cai
  • Xiao-Zhi Bai
  • Xiao-Long Hu
  • Xiao-Bin Fang
  • Jia-Qi Liu
  • Ke Tao
  • Xiong-Xiang Zhu
  • Chao-Wu Tang
  • Da-Hai Hu
Original Paper


Scarring, tightly associated with fibrosis, is a significant symptomatic clinical problem. Interleukin 10 (IL-10) has been identified as a candidate scar-improving therapy based on preclinical studies. However, the molecular mechanism of IL-10 in scar improvement is still uncertain. In this study, human dermal fibroblasts stimulated with TGF-β1 were treated with IL-10 to analyze the mRNA and some of proteins’ expression levels of type I collagen (Col1), type III collagen (Col3), alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP1), MMP2, MMP8 and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 (TIMP1), TIMP2 by real-time PCR and Western blot, to observe α-SMA-positive fibroblasts by immunocytochemistry. The contracture and improvement of fibroblast-populated collagen lattice (FPCL) and a murine model of wound healing were used to evaluate the scar-improving effects by histological staining. The results showed that IL-10 can significantly down-regulate the mRNA and protein expression levels of Col1, Col3, α-SMA, and up-regulate the mRNA expression levels of MMP1 and MMP8, and decrease α-SMA-positive fibroblasts. FPCL analysis showed that the IL-10 (20 ng/ml) can significantly inhibit the contracture, improve the architecture of FPCL. Wounds injected with IL-10 demonstrated that the appearance of scar was improved, the wound margin of scarring was narrow, and the deposition of collagens (Col1 and Col3) in regenerated tissue was relieved. These results provide direct evidences that IL-10 has the inhibitory effects on the excessive deposition of extracellular matrix components and fibroblast-to-myofibroblast transition, and show that IL-10 has the potential therapy in prevention and reduction of skin scarring.


IL-10 Antifibrosis Fibroblast Fibroblast-populated collagen lattice (FPCL) Scarring Wound healing 



We thank Dr. Yi-Ling Zhao for histology technical assistance, Dr. Ying-Jun Su for revision the paper prior to submission, Dr. Na Li for skilled animal technical assistance, and Dr. Yao-Jun Wang for processing the figures. The work was supported by the Grant-in-Aid for scientific research from Xijing hospital assist in 2010 (XJZT10D04), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Number 81272098).

Supplementary material

403_2013_1314_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (265 kb)
Supplementary material (PDF 265 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ji-Hong Shi
    • 1
  • Hao Guan
    • 1
  • Shan Shi
    • 1
  • Wei-Xia Cai
    • 1
  • Xiao-Zhi Bai
    • 1
  • Xiao-Long Hu
    • 1
  • Xiao-Bin Fang
    • 1
  • Jia-Qi Liu
    • 1
  • Ke Tao
    • 1
  • Xiong-Xiang Zhu
    • 1
  • Chao-Wu Tang
    • 1
  • Da-Hai Hu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Burns and Cutaneous Surgery, Xijing HospitalThe Fourth Military Medical UniversityXi’anChina

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