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Arthritis Rheum. 2004 Mar;50(3):915-26.

Mutant fibrillin 1 from tight skin mice increases extracellular matrix incorporation of microfibril-associated glycoprotein 2 and type I collagen.

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1
Boston University School of Medicine, The Arthritis Center, Boston, Massachusetts 02118, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Skin fibrosis in the TSK mouse, a model of skin fibrosis seen in systemic sclerosis (SSc), is caused by a large in-frame duplication in the Fbn1 gene, tsk-Fbn1. We investigated whether tsk-Fbn1 might cause dermal fibrosis by affecting Fbn1 and associated extracellular matrices. We also studied whether deposition of microfibril-associated glycoprotein 2 (MAGP-2), a protein that is associated with fibrillin 1, was altered in the skin of patients with SSc.

METHODS:

An in vitro model of the TSK mouse was created by conditionally expressing tsk-Fbn1 in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs). Cell cultures were examined by immunofluorescence and Western and Northern blotting to determine the effect of tsk-Fbn1 on the structure, expression, and deposition of fibrillin 1 (Fbn-1), type I collagen, and MAGP-2. The skin of TSK mice and SSc patients was analyzed by immunohistochemistry for MAGP-2 expression.

RESULTS:

Expression of tsk-Fbn1 in cultured MEF cells altered the morphology of Fbn-1 fibers and increased the deposition of type I collagen into the extracellular matrix (ECM) without concomitantly changing messenger RNA expression, secretion, or processing of type I procollagen. Moreover, MEF cells expressing tsk-Fbn1 showed increased MAGP-2 matrix. MAGP-2 was increased in the dermis of TSK mice. Fibrotic SSc skin also showed higher levels of MAGP-2 in the dermis than nonfibrotic SSc skin and normal skin.

CONCLUSION:

Tsk-Fbn1 altered ECM organization and caused fibrosis by affecting the deposition of MAGP-2 or other Fbn-1-associated proteins. Alterations in microfibril structure or deposition might contribute to fibrosis in SSc.

PMID:
15022335
DOI:
10.1002/art.20053
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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