Excessive accumulation of collagen contributes to the fibrotic process. Several experimental studies have shown that IFN-γ is effective in preventing fibrogenesis. IL-18, originally identified as an IFN-γ-inducing factor, is a key mediator of inflammation and host defense responses. In this study, we investigated the regulatory effect of IL-18 on the expression of type I and III collagen genes in dermal fibroblasts. The exposure of human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs) to IL-18 resulted in a reduction of collagen gene expression and production. Also, IL-18 inhibited the fibrogenic cytokine transforming growth factor (TGF)-Β-induced collagen gene expression. Next, to determine the molecular mechanism involved in this regulation, we showed that IL-18-regulated collagen expression was blocked by small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated Ets-1 knockdown. Furthermore, we showed that IL-18 induced phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) within 10 minutes and that the ERK inhibitor PD98059 blocked the inhibitory effect of IL-18. IL-18 also inhibited the production of collagen in systemic sclerosis (SSc) dermal fibroblasts. Our data indicate that IL-18 downregulates collagen production in HDF directly via Ets-1 and the ERK pathway, suggesting that IL-18 may exert antifibrotic activities in dermal fibroblasts.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Investigative Dermatology|
|Publication status||Published - 2010 Mar|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology