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J Invest Dermatol. 2006 Aug;126(8):1900-8. Epub 2006 May 11.

Diminished induction of skin fibrosis in mice with MCP-1 deficiency.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, The Burn and Shock Trauma Institute, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, Illinois, USA.


Scar and fibrosis are often the end result of mechanical injury and inflammatory diseases. One chemokine that is repeatedly linked to fibrotic responses is monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1). We utilized a murine fibrosis model that produces dermal lesions similar to scleroderma to evaluate collagen fibrillogenesis in the absence of MCP-1. Dermal fibrosis was induced by subcutaneous injection of bleomycin into the dorsal skin of MCP-1-/- and wild-type C57BL/6 mice. After 4 weeks of daily injections, bleomycin treatment led to thickened collagen bundles with robust inflammation in the lesional dermis of wild-type mice. In contrast, the lesional skin of MCP-1-/- mice exhibited a dermal architecture similar to phosphate-buffered saline (PBS)-injected control and normal skin, with few inflammatory cells. Ultrastructural analysis of the lesional dermis from bleomycin-injected wild-type mice revealed markedly abnormal arrangement of collagen fibrils, with normal large diameter collagen fibrils replaced by small collagen fibrils of 41.5 nm. In comparison, the dermis of bleomycin-injected MCP-1-/- mice displayed a uniform pattern of fibril diameters that was similar to normal skin (average diameter 76.7 nm). The findings implicate MCP-1 as a key determinant in the development of skin fibrosis induced by bleomycin, and suggest that MCP-1 may influence collagen fiber formation in vivo.

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