[Effects of interferon-gamma on the transforming growth factor beta/Smad pathway in keloid-derived fibroblasts].Zhonghua Shao Shang Za Zhi. 2009 Dec; 25(6):454-9.ZS
To elucidate the effects of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) on the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta)/Smad pathway in keloid-derived fibroblasts (KFb), and to investigate the underlying mechanism in the treatment of pathologic scar with IFN-gamma.
Keloid tissue of 3 patients were obtained, and then KFb were separated and cultured in vitro. KFb from passages 3 to 5 were used for the study. (1) KFb were divided into control group (incubated with serum-free DMEM), TGF-beta(1) group (treated with 10 ng/mL TGF-beta(1)), IFN-gamma group (treated with 100 ng/mL IFN-gamma), and TGF-beta(1)+IFN-gamma group (incubated with 10 ng/mL TGF-beta(1) combined with 100 ng/mL IFN-gamma). The expression level of mRNA and protein of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), alpha smooth muscle actin (alpha-SMA) protein and expression of alpha-SMA positive KFb were detected by real-time fluorescent quantitation RT-PCR (FQ-RT-PCR), Western blot and immunofluorescence cytochemical staining. (2) Another sample of KFb was obtained and treated with 10 ng/mL IFN-gamma. The expression level of Smad 3 and Smad 7 protein was detected by Western blot before and 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 h post stimulation (PSH). The expression level of Smad 3 and Smad 7 mRNA was assessed by FQ-RT-PCR before stimulation and 30 mins post stimulation and at PSH, 1, 2, 4, 6, 8. (3) Another sample of KFb was obtained and divided into 1, 10 and 100 ng/mL IFN-gamma groups based on the concentration of IFN-gamma, treated for 4 hours; KFb without IFN-gamma treatment was set up as control group. The expression levels of the protein and mRNA of Smad 3 and Smad 7 were measured by FQ-RT-PCR and Western blot.
(1) The level of mRNA and protein of CTGF in IFN-gamma group (0.017 +/- 0.009 and 1.198 +/- 0.004) was respectively lower than that in control group (0.024 +/- 0.013 and 1.229 +/- 0.011, P < 0.05). The level of mRNA and protein of CTGF in TGF-beta(1)+IFN-gamma group (0.634 +/- 0.138 and 1.204 +/- 0.010) was respectively lower than that in TGF-beta(1) group (1.331 +/- 0.298 and 1.727 +/- 0.004, P < 0.01). The fluorescence intensity of alpha-SMA positive KFb (0.922 +/- 0.059) and the expression level of alpha-SMA protein (0.3051 +/- 0.0031) in IFN-gamma group decreased significantly than those in control group (1.055 +/- 0.005 and 0.4513 +/- 0.0094, P < 0.01). The fluorescence intensity of alpha-SMA positive KFb (1.129 +/- 0.004) and the expression level of alpha-SMA protein (0.6734 +/- 0.0098) in TGF-beta(1)+IFN-gamma group decreased significantly than those in TGF-beta(1) group (1.270 +/- 0.005 and 1.3842 +/- 0.0024, P < 0.01). (2) The expression level of Smad 3 mRNA and protein at the first time point after IFN-gamma treatment increased temporarily then decreased gradually, and mRNA expression level reached the nadir at PSH 4, it rose gradually later, though it was still lower at PSH 8 than that before treatment (P < 0.01); protein expression level at PSH 8 was significantly lower than that before treatment (P < 0.01). The expression level of Smad 7 mRNA and protein increased gradually to the maximum at PSH 2 and 4 respectively, then decreased but was still higher at PSH 8 than that before treatment (P < 0.05). (3) Compared with those in control group, the expression levels of Smad 3 mRNA and protein in 1, 10 and 100 ng/mL IFN-gamma group were significantly lower, the expression levels of Smad 7 mRNA and protein were significantly higher (P < 0.05 or P < 0.01). The higher concentration of IFN-gamma, the more significant differences were observed.
IFN-gamma can down-regulate the expression of Smad 3 while up-regulate the expression of Smad 7 in a time- and dose-dependent manner, and reduce the expression level of CTGF and alpha-SMA in the basic state or induced by TGF-beta(1), which shows a significant inhibitory effect on the TGF-beta/Smad signal pathway. This may be an important mechanism in the treatment of pathologic scar by IFN-gamma.