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Kidney Int. 1999 Apr;55(4):1268-76.

Estradiol suppresses type I collagen synthesis in mesangial cells via activation of activator protein-1.

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Department of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, USA.



Estradiol suppresses the synthesis of type I collagen by murine mesangial cells. However, neither the alpha 1(I) nor the alpha 2(I) collagen gene contains an estrogen-response element. Because estradiol modulates the transcription of several genes that lack an estrogen-response element but contain a regulatory activator protein-1 (AP-1) binding motif, we hypothesized that AP-1 may mediate estradiol-induced suppression of type I collagen synthesis.


We measured type I collagen synthesis in murine mesangial cells exposed to estradiol, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (an activator of AP-1), or curcumin (an inhibitor of AP-1). We also assessed the effects of estradiol on the steady-state level of c-fos and c-jun mRNA and on the binding of mesangial cell nuclear extracts to an AP-1 consensus binding site oligonucleotide.


Estradiol (10(-10) M to 10(-7) M) suppressed type I collagen synthesis by murine mesangial cells in a dose-dependent manner (10(-7) M, 43.7 +/- 8.2% of control values, P < 0.001). Phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (10 microM, four-hr exposure) also decreased type I collagen in the media. In contrast, curcumin (1 microM) increased type I collagen. Estradiol increased the steady-state level of c-fos mRNA twofold at 30 minutes, with a return to basal levels at one hour. This was associated with a greater than threefold increase in the binding of nuclear extracts from estradiol-treated mesangial cells to an AP-1 consensus binding site oligonucleotide. Estradiol-enhanced binding of nuclear extracts to the AP-1 oligonucleotide was reversed by cycloheximide.


These data suggest that estradiol suppresses collagen I synthesis by murine mesangial cells via enhanced AP-1 activity.

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