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Acta Derm Venereol. 2002;82(3):174-8.

Treponema pallidum induces up-regulation of interstitial collagenase in human dermal fibroblasts.

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Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


In this study we investigated the capability of Treponema pallidum to stimulate human dermal fibroblasts to produce interstitial collagenase (MMP-1), which is needed to degrade type I collagen, the most abundant component of the human dermis. When T. pallidum was added to human dermal fibroblast culture, both the amount of secreted MMP-1 and its mRNA levels were increased. Our results show that T. pallidum can stimulate host human fibroblasts to increase the synthesis of MMP-1, which may act as a virulence factor of the organism.

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