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Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 2004 Sep;98(6):581-93.

Dynamics of collagen, MMP and TIMP gene expression during the granulomatous, fibrotic process induced by Schistosoma mansoni eggs.

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  • 1Department of Immunology and Microbiology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 540 East Canfield Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.


In schistosomiasis mansoni, granulomatous inflammation and fibrotic resolution are the major pathogenetic factors. The outcome of fibrosis is influenced by the deposition of collagen and degradation mediated by matrix metalloproteinases (MMP). There is a dearth of data on the expression of MMP and the tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase (TIMP) during the fibrosis associated with schistosomiasis. In this study, the dynamics of collagen, MMP and TIMP gene expression were analysed during murine Schistosoma mansoni infection. Expression within the granulomatous liver tissue of the genes coding for collagen of types I, III and IV was up-regulated at the onset of granuloma development, and the dominant type-I expression peaked at the chronic, fibrotic stage. The amount of deposited hepatic collagen increased with the chronicity of the infection, indicating cumulative fibrosis. Collagenase, gelatinase, stromelysin, matrilysin-specific gene activities were similarly up-regulated, but only MMP-8 (collagenase-2) expression peaked at the height of fibrosis. TIMP-1 gene expression gradually increased during the course of the disease and, along with TIMP-2, peaked at the chronic, fibrotic stage. Granuloma myofibroblasts expressed both MMP and TIMP-1 genes. In ELISA of the splenic cytokines, high levels of fibrogenic interleukin-13 and moderate production of transforming growth factor-beta were found to be concurrent with fibrosis. These data indicate that an imbalance in MMP:TIMP expression and fibrogenic cytokine production are associated with cumulative fibrosis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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