Impairment of the antifibrotic effect of hepatocyte growth factor in lung fibroblasts from African Americans - Possible role in systemic sclerosis

Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Arthritis & Rheumatology (Impact Factor: 7.76). 07/2007; 56(7):2432-42. DOI: 10.1002/art.22713
Source: PubMed


To compare the composition of cytokines in African American and Caucasian patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc; scleroderma) and in healthy individuals, particularly the expression and function of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF).
Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid samples were analyzed using cytokine array techniques. HGF in plasma and cell culture medium samples was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), type I collagen expression, and c-Met receptor phosphorylation were studied by immunoblotting.
Overall greater expression of cytokines in BAL fluid from African American patients as compared with Caucasian patients was observed. Significant increases in HGF concentrations were detected in BAL fluid, plasma, and fibroblast culture medium from Caucasian SSc patients. In contrast, African American SSc patients did not demonstrate an increase in HGF. Recombinant HGF readily abolished CTGF expression and collagen accumulation in lung fibroblasts isolated from Caucasian SSc patients. Pretreatment of lung fibroblasts with neutralizing anti-c-Met antibody abolished the effects of HGF on CTGF expression and collagen accumulation, suggesting that the antifibrotic activity of HGF is mediated via c-Met receptor tyrosine kinase. Whereas recombinant HGF rapidly induced c-Met receptor phosphorylation in lung fibroblasts from Caucasian patients, c-Met receptor phosphorylation was significantly reduced in lung fibroblasts from African American subjects. Moreover, recombinant HGF failed to prevent CTGF expression and collagen accumulation in lung fibroblasts derived from African American subjects.
Ethnic differences exist in terms of antifibrotic HGF expression in lung fibroblasts derived from Caucasian and African American subjects. Reduced levels of HGF as well as a deficiency in c-Met receptor function appear to be present in African American patients with SSc. These findings may explain in part the greater disease severity and worse prognosis observed in African Americans with SSc.

Download full-text


Available from: Carol A Feghali-Bostwick, Dec 29, 2014
12 Reads
  • Source
    • "Some autocrine fibroblast factors counteract fibrosis, such as the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF). HGF is a protein produced by fibroblasts and acts by binding the receptor tyrosine kinase c-Met expressed on nearby epithelial cells, endothelial cells, and fibroblasts (Bogatkevich et al., 2007a,b; Crestani et al., 2012). HGF also plays an important role in wound healing, angiogenesis, and tumorigenesis. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Fibroblasts are the most common cell type of the connective tissues found throughout the body and the principal source of the extensive extracellular matrix (ECM) characteristic of these tissues. They are also the central mediators of the pathological fibrotic accumulation of ECM and the cellular proliferation and differentiation that occurs in response to prolonged tissue injury and chronic inflammation. The transformation of the fibroblast cell lineage involves classical developmental signaling programs and includes a surprisingly diverse range of precursor cell types-most notably, myofibroblasts that are the apex of the fibrotic phenotype. Myofibroblasts display exaggerated ECM production; constitutively secrete and are hypersensitive to chemical signals such as cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors; and are endowed with a contractile apparatus allowing them to manipulate the ECM fibers physically to close open wounds. In addition to ECM production, fibroblasts have multiple concomitant biological roles, such as in wound healing, inflammation, and angiogenesis, which are each interwoven with the process of fibrosis. We now recognize many common fibroblast-related features across various physiological and pathological protracted processes. Indeed, a new appreciation has emerged for the role of non-cancerous fibroblast interactions with tumors in cancer progression. Although the predominant current clinical treatments of fibrosis involve non-specific immunosuppressive and anti-proliferative drugs, a variety of potential therapies under investigation specifically target fibroblast biology.
    Frontiers in Pharmacology 05/2014; 5:123. DOI:10.3389/fphar.2014.00123 · 3.80 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) for Hepatocyte Growth Factor (HGF). Levels of HGF were measured in 50 μL samples of cell culture medium using Quantikine human HGF ELISA kit (R & D Systems, Minneapolis, Minn) according to manufacturer's instructions as described previously [16] "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present novel data demonstrating that the expression of PPAR γ is reduced in lung fibroblasts from black SSc-ILD patients as compared to white patients. Activating PPAR γ with the agonist rosiglitazone increased the expression of MMP-1 and inhibited collagen type I in lung fibroblasts isolated from white, but not black, SSc-ILD patients. Blocking the c-Met receptor abolishes rosiglitazone's effects on collagen and MMP-1 in lung fibroblasts isolated from white SSc-ILD patients, while augmenting the expression of the c-Met receptor in fibroblasts from black SSc-ILD patients replicates the effects of rosiglitazone seen in whites. We conclude that PPAR γ agonists warrant consideration as potential antifibrotic drugs in patients with SSc-ILD. Differential therapeutic effects might be anticipated especially relative to racial differences and the functional expression of the c-Met receptor.
    Pulmonary Medicine 01/2012; 2012(5):545172. DOI:10.1155/2012/545172
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To study the mechanisms by which hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) down-regulates collagen and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) in scleroderma (systemic sclerosis [SSc]) lung fibroblasts. CTGF, type I collagen, and IkappaBalpha expression, together with MAPK phosphorylation, were studied by immunoblotting of lung fibroblasts derived from white SSc patients. Matrix metalloproteinase 1 (MMP-1) expression in cell culture medium samples was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, MMP-1 activity was studied using an MMP-1 assay, and NF-kappaB DNA binding activity was determined using a transcription factor assay. In lung fibroblasts from white SSc patients, HGF activated MAPK (ERK-1/2) signaling pathways and MMP-1, while it inhibited NF-kappaB and significantly down-regulated CTGF and collagen in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated depletion of Grb2 expression disrupted c-Met receptor downstream signaling, which resulted in diminished HGF-induced ERK-1/2 phosphorylation and the recovery of HGF-inhibited expression of MMP-1, NF-kappaB, collagen, and CTGF. The MAPK inhibitor, U0126, blocked MMP-1 activity and restored HGF-inhibited collagen and CTGF accumulation. Inhibition of MMP activity by MMP inhibitor GM1489 and inhibition of MMP-1 expression by siRNA did not prevent HGF-induced ERK-1/2 phosphorylation and NF-kappaB activity, but significantly restored HGF-inhibited collagen and CTGF accumulation. NF-kappaB inhibitor BAY 11-7082 did not interfere with MAPK phosphorylation or MMP-1 expression and activation, but significantly inhibited NF-kappaB DNA binding activity and acted synergistically with HGF to completely diminish the expression of CTGF. In lung fibroblasts from white SSc patients, HGF down-regulates the accumulation of CTGF via MAPK/MMP-1 and NF-kappaB signaling pathways, whereas collagen down-regulation is mediated mainly by a MAPK/MMP-1-dependent pathway.
    Arthritis & Rheumatology 10/2007; 56(10):3468-77. DOI:10.1002/art.22874 · 7.76 Impact Factor
Show more