Targeting myofibroblasts in model systems of fibrosis by an artificial alpha-smooth muscle-actin promoter hybrid.
ABSTRACT Myofibroblasts are the main cell types producing extracellular matrix proteins in a variety of fibrotic diseases. Therefore, they are useful targets for studies of intracellular communication and gene therapeutical approaches in scarring diseases. An artificial promoter containing the -702 bp regulatory sequence of the alpha-smooth muscle actin (SMA) gene linked to the first intron enhancer sequence of the beta-actin gene and the beta-globin intron-exon junction was constructed and tested for myofibroblast-dependent gene expression using the green fluorescent protein as a reporter. Reporter expression revealed myofibroblast-specific function in hepatic and renal myofibroblasts, in vitro. In addition, differentiation-dependent activation of the SMA-beta-actin promoter hybrid was shown after induction of myofibroblastic features in mesangial cells by stretching treatment. Furthermore, wound healing experiments with SMA-beta-actin promoter reporter mice demonstrated myofibroblast-specific action, in vivo. In conclusion, the -702 bp regulatory region of the SMA promoter linked to enhancing beta-actin and beta-globin sequences benefits from its small size and is suggested as a promising tool to target myofibroblasts as the crucial cell type in various scarring processes.
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ABSTRACT: Interfacial fibrosis is known to dramatically decrease the lifespan, stability, and function of biomedical implants and bone-anchored prosthetics. Bioactive coatings aimed at mitigating fibrous adhesions are one of the approaches to alleviate the problem. In this paper, we are developing a bioactive coating based upon a magnetoelastic (ME) material that vibrates in response to an ac magnetic field. In order to establish these coatings for this purpose, the ME material was first rendered bioactive through the sequential addition of polyurethane and chitosan thin films. Indirect live/dead assays were performed showing increased cell viability for polyurethane and chitosan-coated sensors compared to the uncoated controls. Direct adhesion experiments were performed to test the response of fibroblasts cultured on static and vibrated ME materials. Results showed cells adherent to static but not vibrated coatings. Detached cells showed no viability loss compared to controls. The finding that submicrometer ME vibrations can prevent cell adhesion in vitro without inducing cell death suggests the potential of these coatings to effectively control interfacial fibrosis. Future work will address the effect of vibrations on cell morphology and local gene expression in vitro, as well as fibrous tissue formation in vivo.IEEE transactions on bio-medical engineering 11/2010; 58(3):698-704. DOI:10.1109/TBME.2010.2093131 · 2.23 Impact Factor