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Circ Res. 2000 Jun 23;86(12):1259-65.

Interleukin-1beta and tumor necrosis factor-alpha decrease collagen synthesis and increase matrix metalloproteinase activity in cardiac fibroblasts in vitro.

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  • 1Myocardial Biology Unit, Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA. USA.


We tested the hypothesis that the inflammatory cytokines can regulate fibroblast extracellular matrix metabolism. Neonatal and adult rat cardiac fibroblasts cultures in vitro were exposed to interleukin (IL)-1beta (4 ng/mL), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha; 100 ng/mL), IL-6 (10 ng/mL), or interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma; 500 U/mL) for 24 hours. IL-1beta, and to a lesser extent TNF-alpha, decreased collagen synthesis, which was measured as collagenase-sensitive [(3)H]proline incorporation, but had no effect on cell number or total protein synthesis. IL-1beta decreased the expression of procollagen alpha(1)(I), alpha(2)(I), and alpha1(III) mRNA, but increased the expression of procollagen alpha(1)(IV), alpha(2)(IV), and fibronectin mRNA, indicating a selective transcriptional downregulation of fibrillar collagen synthesis. IL-1beta and TNF-alpha each increased total matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity as measured by in-gel zymography, causing specific increases in the bands corresponding to MMP-13, MMP-2, and MMP-9. IL-1beta increased the expression of proMMP-2 and proMMP-3 mRNA, suggesting that increased metalloproteinase activity is due, at least in part, to increased transcription. The effects of IL-1beta were not dependent on NO production. Thus, IL-1beta and TNF-alpha decrease collagen synthesis and activate MMPs that degrade collagen. These observations suggest that IL-1beta and TNF-alpha may contribute to ventricular dilation and myocardial failure by promoting the remodeling of interstitial collagen.

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