Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

, Volume 370, Issue 1–2, pp 79–88 | Cite as

Red blood cell lysate modulates the expression of extracellular matrix proteins in dermal fibroblasts

  • Amir Akbari
  • Yunyuan Li
  • Ruhangiz T. Kilani
  • Aziz GhaharyEmail author


During the early stage of wound healing process, blood clots can be served as a temporary extracellular matrix (ECM) to let skin cell migration and proliferation. The red blood cells are generally thought as inert bystanders in the early and inflammatory phase of wound healing. Here, we provide evidence that red blood cells (RBC) also play an important role in modulation of key ECM components such as type-I collagen, α-smooth muscle actin, fibronectin, and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). In this study, we used western blot analysis and showed a significant increase in the level of MMP-1, 2, 3. Furthermore, we found that RBC lysate significantly down-regulates type-I collagen and α-smooth muscle actin while up-regulates fibronectin expression in dermal fibroblasts. To further explore the mechanism by which RBC lysate modulates MMP-1 expression, the effect of inhibitors for three MAPK signaling pathways on RBC inducing MMP-1 expression by dermal fibroblasts were tested. The result showed that the inhibitor of ERK1/2 could abrogate the stimulatory effect of RBC lysate on MMP-1 expression in dermal fibroblasts. Consistently, RBC treatment results in an increase of ERK1/2 phosphorylation in dermal fibroblast. In conclusion, these findings suggest that RBC lysate can modulate the expression of MMPs and key ECM components which are important in healing process.


Red blood cell Extracellular matrix (ECM) Metalloproteinase (MMP) Collagen Fibronectin Extracellular-signal-regulated kinase1/2 (ERK1/2) 



This study was supported by the Canadian Institute of Health Research (Contract grant number: CIHR-MOP-84276). Amir Akbari holds the University of British Columbia Graduate Fellowship, the CIHR Transplantation Training Scholarship and the CIHR Training in Skin Science Studentship Award. We wish to express our gratitude to department of Laboratory Medicine at Lions Gate Hospital, Vancouver, BC for providing blood samples. We would also like to thank Dr. Anthony Behrmann and his staff for their generous provision of skin tissue samples.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amir Akbari
    • 1
  • Yunyuan Li
    • 1
  • Ruhangiz T. Kilani
    • 1
  • Aziz Ghahary
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Surgery, BC Professional Firefighter’s Burn and Wound Healing Research LabUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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