Association of polymorphism at the type I collagen (COL1A1) locus with reduced bone mineral density, increased fracture risk, and increased collagen turnover. (1/1326)

OBJECTIVE: To examine the relationship between a common polymorphism within intron 1 of the COL1A1 gene and osteoporosis in a nested case-control study. METHODS: We studied 185 healthy women (mean +/- SD age 54.3+/-4.6 years). Bone mineral density (BMD) was measured using dual x-ray absorptiometry, and fractures were determined radiographically. The COL1A1 genotype was assessed using the polymerase chain reaction and Bal I endonuclease digestion. RESULTS: Genotype frequencies were similar to those previously observed and in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium: SS 61.1%, Ss 36.2%, and ss 2.7%. Carriage of at least one copy of the "s" allele was associated with a significant reduction in lumbar spine BMD (P = 0.02) and an increased risk of total fracture (P = 0.04). Urinary pyridinoline levels were significantly elevated in those with the risk allele (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: These data support the findings that the COL1A1 gene polymorphism is associated with low BMD and fracture risk, and suggest a possible physiologic effect on total body turnover of type I collagen.  (+info)

Interferon-alpha does not improve outcome at one year in patients with diffuse cutaneous scleroderma: results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. (2/1326)

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether interferon-alpha (IFNalpha) reduces the severity of skin involvement in early (<3 years) diffuse scleroderma. METHODS: In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial, 35 patients with early scleroderma received subcutaneous injections of either IFNalpha (13.5 x 10(6) units per week in divided doses) or indistinguishable placebo. Outcomes assessed were the modified Rodnan skin score, as determined by a single observer at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months, as well as data on renal, cardiac, and lung function. Pre- and posttreatment skin biopsy samples were analyzed and blood was obtained for assessment of procollagen peptide levels. RESULTS: There were 11 withdrawals from the IFNalpha group and 3 from the placebo group due to either toxicity, lack of efficacy, or death. In the intent-to-treat analysis, there was a greater improvement in the skin score in the placebo group between 0 and 12 months (mean change IFNalpha -4.7 versus placebo -7.5; P = 0.36). There was also a greater deterioration in lung function in patients receiving active therapy, as assessed by either the forced vital capacity (mean change IFNalpha -8.2 versus placebo +1.3; P = 0.01) or the diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (mean change IFNalpha -9.3 versus placebo +4.7; P = 0.002). Skin biopsy showed no significant decrease in collagen synthesis in the IFNalpha group, and no significant differences in the levels of procollagen peptides were seen between the 2 groups. CONCLUSION: This study suggests that IFNalpha is of no value in the treatment of scleroderma, and that it may in fact be deleterious.  (+info)

Biochemical markers of bone turnover in breast cancer patients with bone metastases: a preliminary report. (3/1326)

BACKGROUND: Some biochemical markers of bone turnover are expected to reflect the disease activity of metastatic bone tumor. In the present study six biochemical markers were evaluated to determine appropriate markers for the detection of metastatic bone tumors from breast cancer (BC). METHODS: A panel of bone turnover markers was assessed in 11 normocalcemic patients with bone metastases from BC and in 19 BC patients without clinical evidence of bone metastases. Bone formation was investigated by measuring serum bone isoenzyme of alkaline phosphatase (BALP), osteocalcin (OC) and carboxy-terminal propeptide of type I procollagen (PICP): Bone resorption was investigated by measuring serum carboxy-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (ICTP), fasting urinary pyridinoline (Pyr) and deoxypyridinoline (D-Pyr). RESULTS: PICP was influenced by age and menopausal status. Significant correlations were observed between each of bone turnover markers except between BALP and OC. The mean levels of the six bone turnover markers were higher in patients with bone metastases than in those without them and significance was observed except for OC. The best diagnostic efficiency by receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was provided by ICTP followed by Pyr or D-Pyr, BALP, PICP and OC and significance was observed between ICTP and OC. Multiple logistic regression analysis adjusted by age revealed that the only significant marker related to bone metastases was ICTP. CONCLUSIONS: Serum ICTP appears to be the leading marker of bone metastases from BC. However, to reveal the clinical usefulness of these markers, further examination will be needed to account for the ease and cost-effectiveness of the measurements.  (+info)

Type IIA procollagen containing the cysteine-rich amino propeptide is deposited in the extracellular matrix of prechondrogenic tissue and binds to TGF-beta1 and BMP-2. (4/1326)

Type II procollagen is expressed as two splice forms. One form, type IIB, is synthesized by chondrocytes and is the major extracellular matrix component of cartilage. The other form, type IIA, contains an additional 69 amino acid cysteine-rich domain in the NH2-propeptide and is synthesized by chondrogenic mesenchyme and perichondrium. We have hypothesized that the additional protein domain of type IIA procollagen plays a role in chondrogenesis. The present study was designed to determine the localization of the type IIA NH2-propeptide and its function during chondrogenesis. Immunofluorescence histochemistry using antibodies to three domains of the type IIA procollagen molecule was used to localize the NH2-propeptide, fibrillar domain, and COOH-propeptides of the type IIA procollagen molecule during chondrogenesis in a developing human long bone (stage XXI). Before chondrogenesis, type IIA procollagen was synthesized by chondroprogenitor cells and deposited in the extracellular matrix. Immunoelectron microscopy revealed type IIA procollagen fibrils labeled with antibodies to NH2-propeptide at approximately 70 nm interval suggesting that the NH2-propeptide remains attached to the collagen molecule in the extracellular matrix. As differentiation proceeds, the cells switch synthesis from type IIA to IIB procollagen, and the newly synthesized type IIB collagen displaces the type IIA procollagen into the interterritorial matrix. To initiate studies on the function of type IIA procollagen, binding was tested between recombinant NH2-propeptide and various growth factors known to be involved in chondrogenesis. A solid phase binding assay showed no reaction with bFGF or IGF-1, however, binding was observed with TGF-beta1 and BMP-2, both known to induce endochondral bone formation. BMP-2, but not IGF-1, coimmunoprecipitated with type IIA NH2-propeptide. Recombinant type IIA NH2-propeptide and type IIA procollagen from media coimmunoprecipitated with BMP-2 while recombinant type IIB NH2-propeptide and all other forms of type II procollagens and mature collagen did not react with BMP-2. Taken together, these results suggest that the NH2-propeptide of type IIA procollagen could function in the extracellular matrix distribution of bone morphogenetic proteins in chondrogenic tissue.  (+info)

Effects of pirfenidone on procollagen gene expression at the transcriptional level in bleomycin hamster model of lung fibrosis. (5/1326)

A time course study was carried out to elucidate the mechanisms for antifibrotic effect of pirfenidone (PD). Hamsters were intratracheally (i.t.) instilled with saline (SA) or bleomycin (BL) (7.5 units/kg/5 ml). The animals were fed a diet containing 0.5% PD or the same control diet (CD) without the drug 2 days before and throughout the study. The animals were sacrificed at various times after instillation. The lung hydroxyproline level in BL + CD groups was gradually increased and peaked at 21 days to 181% of the SA + CD control. The BL + PD-treated groups showed a gradual decrease in their lung collagen content, showing a maximum reduction of 40% at day 21. The lung malondialdehyde levels of the BL + CD groups were increased by several-fold of the corresponding SA + CD groups at various times. The lung prolyl hydroxylase (PH) activities in the BL + CD groups were also increased by several-fold of the corresponding SA + CD groups at these time points. The hamsters in the BL + PD showed a gradual decrease in the lung malondialdehyde levels from 10 to 21days compared with their corresponding BL + CD groups. Treatment with PD also reduced the lung PH activities in the BL + PD groups compared with the corresponding BL + CD groups. However, PD failed to manifest any direct inhibitory effect on PH activity in vitro. BL treatment increased the lung procollagen I and III gene expressions in the BL + CD groups by several-fold at varying times compared with the corresponding SA + CD, and treatment with PD in the BL + PD groups significantly down-regulated the BL-induced overexpression of these genes. Studies evaluating the regulation of these genes at the transcriptional level revealed PD significantly reduced the transcription of PC I at 14 days. Our results indicate that the antifibrotic effect of PD was partly due to suppression of the BL-induced inflammatory events and partly due to down-regulation of BL-induced overexpression of lung procollagen I and III genes.  (+info)

Fibroproliferation and mast cells in the acute respiratory distress syndrome. (6/1326)

BACKGROUND: Mast cells (MCs), which are a major source of cytokines and growth factors, have been implicated in various fibrotic disorders. To clarify the contribution of MCs to fibrogenesis, lung tissue from patients with the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) was examined during exudative through to fibroproliferative stages. METHODS: Lung tissue was obtained from 17 patients with ARDS who had pathological features of the early exudative stage (n = 6) or the later reparative stages (n = 11), from four patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and from three patients with normal lung tissue. Immunohistochemical localisation of tryptase (found in all human MCs), chymase (found in a subset of human MCs), alpha-smooth muscle actin (identifies myofibroblasts), and procollagen type I was performed. RESULTS: Normal lung tissue exhibited myofibroblast and procollagen type I immunolocalisation scores each of < 5 and MC scores of 1. Increased scores were defined as myofibroblast and procollagen type I scores of > 10 and MC scores of > or = 2. Eighty percent of lung tissue samples from the early exudative stage of ARDS exhibited increased numbers of myofibroblasts, 50% had increased numbers of procollagen type I producing cells, while only 17% had increased numbers of MCs compared with control samples. All samples from the later reparative stages of ARDS had increased numbers of myofibroblasts and procollagen type I producing cells. Increased numbers of MCs were seen in 55% of samples from the reparative stages. There was no significant shift in MC phenotype in the ARDS samples. CONCLUSIONS: Increased numbers of myofibroblasts and procollagen type I producing cells were frequently found early in the course of ARDS. MC hyperplasia was unusual during this stage, but was often a feature of the later reparative stages. MCs do not appear to initiate fibroproliferation in ARDS.  (+info)

TGF-beta1 in liver fibrosis: an inducible transgenic mouse model to study liver fibrogenesis. (7/1326)

Transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) is a powerful stimulus for collagen formation in vitro. To determine the in vivo effects of TGF-beta1 on liver fibrogenesis, we generated transgenic mice overexpressing a fusion gene [C-reactive protein (CRP)/TGF-beta1] consisting of the cDNA coding for an activated form of TGF-beta1 under the control of the regulatory elements of the inducible human CRP gene promoter. Two transgenic lines were generated with liver-specific overexpression of mature TGF-beta1. After induction of the acute phase response (15 h) with lipopolysaccharide (100 microgram ip), plasma TGF-beta1 levels reached >600 ng/ml in transgenic animals, which is >100 times above normal plasma levels. Basal plasma levels of uninduced transgenic animals were about two to five times above normal. As a consequence of hepatic TGF-beta1 expression, we could demonstrate marked transient upregulation of procollagen I and procollagen III mRNA in the liver 15 h after the peak of TGF-beta1 expression. Liver histology after repeated induction of transgene expression showed an activation of hepatic stellate cells in both transgenic lines. The fibrotic process was characterized by perisinusoidal deposition of collagen in a linear pattern. This transgenic mouse model gives in vivo evidence for the important role of TGF-beta1 in stellate cell activation and liver fibrogenesis. Due to the ability to control the level of TGF-beta1 expression, this model allows the study of the regulation and kinetics of collagen synthesis and fibrolysis as well as the degree of reversibility of liver fibrosis. The CRP/TGF-beta1 transgenic mouse model may finally serve as a model for the testing of antifibrogenic agents.  (+info)

Vascular endothelin-1 gene expression and synthesis and effect on renal type I collagen synthesis and nephroangiosclerosis during nitric oxide synthase inhibition in rats. (8/1326)

BACKGROUND: The progression of hypertension during NO deficiency is associated with renal vascular fibrosis due to increased extracellular matrix (mainly collagen I) formation. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether endothelin-1 (ET-1) is involved in this pathophysiological process. METHODS AND RESULTS: Treatment of rats for 4 weeks with the NO synthase inhibitor Nomega-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) 50 mg. kg-1. d-1 increased systolic blood pressure to 159+/-12 mm Hg. In animals treated with L-NAME, histological evaluation of renal sections revealed an increased formation of extracellular matrix (Masson's trichrome), and specifically of collagens (Sirius red). A part of this fibrosis was attributed to abnormal collagen I presence, because mRNA expression of the collagen I alpha1 chain (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) and procollagen I formation (radioimmunoassay) were increased 3- and 2.5-fold, respectively, in the renal resistance vessels of hypertensive animals. In subsequent experiments, we examined whether ET-1 was involved in activation of collagen I formation. mRNA expression (RNase protection assay) of preproET-1 and ET-1 content (radioimmunoassay) were 10-fold and 3-fold increased, respectively, in renal microvessels of rats treated with L-NAME. Interestingly, in these vessels, ET-1 (immunostaining) was colocalized with sudanophilic lesions. Bosentan, an ET receptor antagonist (20 mg. kg-1. d-1), coadministered with L-NAME canceled the increased mRNA expression and synthesis of collagen I and attenuated the severity of renal vascular lesions without affecting L-NAME-induced high blood pressure. CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate that ET-1 synthesis is increased in renal microvessels when NO production is suppressed. In this model of hypertension, ET-1 is a major activator of collagen I formation in renal resistance vessels and participates in the development of renal fibrosis without affecting systolic blood pressure.  (+info)