Transforming growth factor beta-1 stimulates invasivity of hepatic stellate cells by engagement of the cell-associated fibrinolytic system.Growth Factors. 2001; 19(2):87-100.GF
The activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSC) during liver fibrogenesis has been shown to be mediated by paracrine and autocrine loops involving transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) as the main fibrogenic mediator secreted by activated macrophages, endothelial cells and liberated by disintegrated platelets. The cell-associated plasminogen activation system regulates extracellular matrix (ECM) catabolism and cell movement. We have studied whether TGF-beta1 could modulate the plasminogen activation system in human HSC and the role of such protease system in the activity of TGF-beta1 on HSC. Urokinase plasminogen activator receptors (u-PAR), u-PA and plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1) were determined by immunoassay and RNase protection assay. Cell migration, evaluated either as chemotaxis or as chemoinvasion, was studied in Boyden chambers after addition of TGF-beta1, and inhibition with anti-u-PA and anti-u-PAR antagonists [antibodies against u-PA and u-PAR and antisense oligonucleotides (aODN) against u-PAR mRNA]. We have shown that TGF-beta1 is not mitogenic for HSC, while it is a powerful motogen either in chemotaxis or chemoinvasion assays. TGF-beta1 up-regulates the synthesis and expression of PAI-1, as well as u-PAR expression and exposure at the cell membrane, while it does not affect u-PA levels. TGF-beta1-dependent chemoinvasion of reconstituted basement membrane exploits the cell-associated plasminogen activation system, since it is blocked by monoclonal antibodies against u-PA and against various u-PAR domains, as well as by anti-u-PAR aODN. We have also observed a cumulative effect of TGF-beta1, b-FGF and PDGF in the invasion assay of HSC: in the presence of low amounts of TGF-beta1 the chemoinvasive activity of PDGF and bFGF is dramatically increased. Also this cooperation requires u-PAR and is inhibited by monoclonal antibodies against u-PAR domains I, II and III.