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J Formos Med Assoc. 2001 Jun;100(6):377-82.

Influence of cytokines on matrix metalloproteinases produced by fibroblasts cultured in monolayer and collagen gels.

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  • 1Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Department of Dermatology, 199 Tung Hwa North Road, Taipei, Taiwan.



Extracellular matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are crucial factors involved in connective tissue remodeling that accompanies ultraviolet radiation-induced actinic damage. This study investigated whether the cytokines tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, interleukin (IL)-1 beta, and IL-10 modulate the expression of MMPs in cultured human newborn skin fibroblasts.


Different concentrations of TNF-alpha, IL-1 beta, and IL-10 were added to human dermal fibroblasts grown in monolayers or embedded in three-dimensional (3D) collagen gels, a model closer to skin. Supernatant from the fibroblast cell culture was collected 24 hours later. The concentrations of MMP-1 and MMP-3 were assaysed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) while the concentrations of MMP-2 and MMP-9 were analysed by zymography.


Basal production of MMPs was significantly greater in fibroblasts grown in 3D gels than in cells grown as monolayers. TNF-alpha and IL-1 beta induced increases in the concentrations of MMP-1, MMP-3, and MMP-9, but not in MMP-2 or tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1 or -2. The inducibility of MMP secretion is more significant in 3D gels. IL-10 did not significantly modulate MMPs.


This study demonstrated that basal concentrations of MMPs are higher in fibroblasts cultured in 3D gels and their response to cytokines is different to that of cells grown as monolayers. Cytokines can increase the collagenolytic and gelatinolytic activity involved in extracellular matrix remodeling and hence contribute to photoaging.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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