Gene expression of types I and III collagen, decorin, matrix metalloproteinases and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases in skin fibroblasts from patients with systemic sclerosis
Cultured fibroblasts from patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc) and normal individuals were examined for gene expression of types I and III collagen, decorin, matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) MMP-1, MMP-2, and MMP-3, tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMP) TIMP-1 and TIMP-2, urokinase- and tissue-type plasminogen activators (u-PA and t-PA). Fibroblasts from patients with early stage SSC (less than 1 year duration of disease) exhibited higher levels of types I and III procollagen, decorin, MMP-1, MMP-3, TIMP-1, and PAs than those from normal individuals. The gene expression of procollagen α1(I) and TIMP-1 mRNAs were increased, but those of decorin, MMP-1, MMP-2, and MMP-3 were decreased, in fibroblasts from SSc patients with mid-stage SSc (2 to 4 years duration) as compared with those from normal individuals. In contrast, no significant difference in gene expression was found between fibroblasts from normal individuals and from patients with late-stage SSc (more than 6 years duration). These results suggest that gene expression of collagen, decorin, and degrading factors is dynamically modulated during fibrillogenesis. The responses of procollagen α1(I) mRNA to IL-1 and TGF-β were lower in fibroblasts from SSc patients with early and mid-stage disease, but not in those from patients with-late stage disease, than in control fibroblasts, which indicates that these cytokines may be involved in the earlier phases of fibrosis in SSc.
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