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J Immunol. 2006 Oct 1;177(7):4758-62.

Follistatin-like protein-1 is a novel proinflammatory molecule.

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  • 1Division of Rheumatology, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, 3705 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


While analyzing gene expression in collagen-induced arthritis, we discovered that a poorly characterized gene, follistatin-like protein 1 (FSTL-1), is highly overexpressed in mouse paws during early arthritis, especially at the interface of synovial pannus and eroding bone. In this study, we show that FSTL-1 is a novel proinflammatory molecule with a previously unrecognized role in inflammation. Transfection of FSTL-1 into macrophages and fibroblasts leads to up-regulation of proinflammatory cytokines, including IL-1beta, TNF-alpha, and IL-6. Overexpression of FSTL-1 in mouse paws by gene transfer results in severe paw swelling and arthritis.

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