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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2000 Mar;292(3):988-94.

Interleukin-13 modulates collagen homeostasis in human skin and keloid fibroblasts.

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Department of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


Interleukin (IL)-13 has been implicated in the pathogenesis of various diseases characterized by fibrosis. We describe the effects of IL-13 on collagen homeostasis from normal (NF) and keloid (KF) fibroblasts and compare these effects with those of IL-4 and transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta(1). Total collagen generation was up-regulated in NF after 48 h of stimulation by IL-13; in KF, IL-13 stimulated a more rapid collagen response. The kinetics and magnitude of collagen generation induced by IL-13 were equivalent to those induced by similar concentrations of IL-4 and TGF-beta(1). Collagen type I production paralleled total collagen generation from both NF and KF; however, IL-4-induced collagen type I and total collagen production from KF was more transient than that induced by either IL-13 or TGF-beta(1). Procollagen 1alpha1 gene expression was induced in KF by stimulation with IL-13 for 24 h. Moreover, IL-13 was unique among these three cytokines in its ability to induce gene expression for procollagen 3alpha1. Finally, IL-13 inhibited IL-1beta-induced matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1 and MMP-3 production and enhanced tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1 generation from NF; although similar effects were observed with IL-4, TGF-beta(1) transiently enhanced MMP-1 and MMP-3 generation without effecting TIMP-1. In KF, IL-13 and IL-4 inhibited MMP-3, whereas TGF-beta(1) enhanced MMP-3; TIMP-1 was unaffected by any of the three cytokines. These data demonstrate both the profibrotic effects of IL-13 on collagen homeostasis and the potential differential regulation of collagen homeostasis in fibroblast subtypes by IL-13.

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