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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-57550

Dees, C; Tomcik, M; Zerr, P; Akhmetshina, A; Horn, A; Palumbo, K; Beyer, C; Zwerina, J; Distler, O; Schett, G; Distler, J H W (2011). Notch signalling regulates fibroblast activation and collagen release in systemic sclerosis. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 70(7):1304-1310.

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BACKGROUND: Dermal fibroblasts from patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc) release excessive amounts of collagen resulting in tissue fibrosis. The molecular mechanisms underlying this pathological activation are incompletely understood. OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether Notch signalling contributes to the uncontrolled activation of fibroblasts in SSc. METHODS: Activation of the Notch pathway was assessed by immunohistochemistry or Western blot for the Notch intracellular domain and the Notch ligand Jagged-1 (Jag-1) and real-time PCR for the target gene hes-1. Differentiation of resting dermal fibroblasts into myofibroblasts was assessed by staining for α-smooth muscle actin. The synthesis of collagen was quantified by real-time PCR and Sircol assays. RESULTS: Notch signalling was activated in lesional skin of patients with SSc. The activation persisted in cultured dermal SSc fibroblasts. Stimulation of healthy dermal fibroblasts with recombinant human Jag-1-Fc chimera resulted in an SSc-like phenotype with increased release of collagen and differentiation of resting fibroblasts into myofibroblasts. Consistent with the selective activation of the Notch pathway in dermal SSc fibroblasts, DAPT or siRNA against Notch strongly reduced the basal collagen expression in SSc fibroblasts, but not in fibroblasts from healthy volunteers. CONCLUSION: It was shown that Notch signalling is activated in SSc and plays an important role in fibroblast activation and collagen release. Inhibition of Notch signalling might be an effective strategy to selectively prevent the aberrant activation of SSc fibroblasts.


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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Rheumatology Clinic and Institute of Physical Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Deposited On:29 Jan 2012 16:55
Last Modified:15 Jul 2014 02:28
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
Additional Information:Comment in: Nat Rev Rheumatol. 2011 Jun;7(6):312
Publisher DOI:10.1136/ard.2010.134742
PubMed ID:21450749

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