Treponema Pallidum Induces Up-Regulation of Interstitial Collagenase in Human Dermal Fibroblasts

Acta Derm Venereol. 2002;82(3):174-8. doi: 10.1080/00015550260132442.


In this study we investigated the capability of Treponema pallidum to stimulate human dermal fibroblasts to produce interstitial collagenase (MMP-1), which is needed to degrade type I collagen, the most abundant component of the human dermis. When T. pallidum was added to human dermal fibroblast culture, both the amount of secreted MMP-1 and its mRNA levels were increased. Our results show that T. pallidum can stimulate host human fibroblasts to increase the synthesis of MMP-1, which may act as a virulence factor of the organism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Northern
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Fibroblasts / enzymology
  • Fibroblasts / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1 / genetics
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1 / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Skin / enzymology
  • Skin / microbiology*
  • Treponema pallidum / physiology*
  • Up-Regulation


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1