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J Biol Chem. 2000 Jan 7;275(1):444-50.

Macrophage migration inhibitory factor up-regulates expression of matrix metalloproteinases in synovial fibroblasts of rheumatoid arthritis.

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Department of Orthopaedics, Hokkaido University School of Medicine, Sapporo 060, Japan.


Neutral matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are responsible for the pathological features of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) such as degradation of cartilage. We herein show the up-regulation of MMP-1 (interstitial collagenase) and MMP-3 (stromelysin) mRNAs of cultured synovial fibroblasts retrieved from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients in response to macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF). The elevation of MMP-1 and MMP-3 mRNA was dose-dependent and started at 6 h post-stimulation by MIF, reached the maximum level at 24 h, and was sustained at least up to 36 h. Interleukin (IL)-1beta mRNA was also up-regulated by MIF. These events were preceded by up-regulation of c-jun and c-fos mRNA. Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1, a common inhibitor of these proteases, was slightly up-regulated by MIF. Similarly, mRNA up-regulation of MMP-1 and MMP-3 was observed in the synovial fibroblasts of patients with osteoarthritis. However, their expression levels were much lower than those of RA synovial fibroblasts. The mRNA up-regulation by MIF was inhibited by the tyrosine kinase inhibitors genestein and herbimycin A, as well as the protein kinase C inhibitors staurosporine and H-7. On the other hand, the inhibition was not seen after the addition of the cyclic AMP-dependent kinase inhibitor, H-8. The mRNA up-regulation of MMPs was also inhibited by curcumin, an inhibitor of transcription factor AP-1, whereas interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, an IL-1 receptor antagonist, failed to inhibit the mRNA up-regulation. Considering these results, it is suggested that 1) MIF plays an important role in the tissue destruction of rheumatoid joints via induction of the proteinases, and 2) MIF up-regulates MMP-1 and MMP-3 via tyrosine kinase-, protein kinase C-, and AP-1- dependent pathways, bypassing IL-1beta signal transduction.

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