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J Biol Chem. 1990 Oct 5;265(28):17238-45.

Discoordinate expression of stromelysin, collagenase, and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 in rheumatoid human synovial fibroblasts. Synergistic effects of interleukin-1 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha on stromelysin expression.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Immunology, Merck Sharp and Dohme Research Laboratories, Rahway, New Jersey 07065.


Primary and passaged human synovial fibroblasts isolated from rheumatoid pannus were treated with recombinant interleukin-1 (IL-1) alpha or beta, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF), or phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) to determine the effects of these stimuli on the relative expression of stromelysin, collagenase, and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP). The steady-state mRNA levels for these genes and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase were determined on Northern blots. Immunoblot analyses of the conditioned media using monoclonal antibodies generated against recombinant human stromelysin, collagenase, or TIMP showed that protein levels reflected the corresponding steady-state mRNA levels. The results revealed that 1) stromelysin and collagenase were not always coordinately expressed; 2) IL-1 was more potent than TNF or PMA in the induction of stromelysin expression; 3) neither IL-1 nor TNF significantly affected TIMP expression; 4) PMA induced both metalloproteinase and TIMP expression; and 5) the combination of IL-1 plus TNF had a synergistic effect on stromelysin expression. Dose response and time course experiments demonstrated that the synergistic effect of IL-1 plus TNF occurred at saturating concentrations of each cytokine and lasted for 7 days. In summary, the ability of IL-1 and TNF to preferentially induce stromelysin and collagenase expression, versus TIMP, may define a pivotal role for these cytokines in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis.

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