Hernia fibroblasts lack beta-estradiol-induced alterations of collagen gene expression

BMC Cell Biol. 2006 Sep 29;7:36. doi: 10.1186/1471-2121-7-36.


Background: Estrogens are reported to increase type I and type III collagen deposition and to regulate Metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2) expression. These proteins are reported to be dysregulated in incisional hernia formation resulting in a significantly decreased type I to III ratio. We aimed to evaluate the beta-estradiol mediated regulation of type I and type III collagen genes as well as MMP-2 gene expression in fibroblasts derived from patients with or without history of recurrent incisional hernia disease. We compared primary fibroblast cultures from male/female subjects without/without incisional hernia disease.

Results: Incisional hernia fibroblasts (IHFs) revealed a decreased type I/III collagen mRNA ratio. Whereas fibroblasts from healthy female donors responded to beta-estradiol, type I and type III gene transcription is not affected in fibroblasts from males or affected females. Furthermore beta-estradiol had no influence on the impaired type I to III collagen ratio in fibroblasts from recurrent hernia patients.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that beta-estradiol does not restore the imbaired balance of type I/III collagen in incisional hernia fibroblasts. Furthermore, the individual was identified as an independent factor for the beta-estradiol induced alterations of collagen gene expression. The observation of gender specific beta-estradiol-dependent changes of collagen gene expression in vitro is of significance for future studies of cellular response.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / surgery
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cells, Cultured / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured / metabolism
  • Cicatrix / metabolism
  • Cicatrix / pathology*
  • Collagen Type I / biosynthesis*
  • Collagen Type I / genetics
  • Collagen Type I, alpha 1 Chain
  • Collagen Type III / biosynthesis*
  • Collagen Type III / genetics
  • Enzyme Induction / drug effects
  • Estradiol / pharmacology*
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha / biosynthesis
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha / genetics
  • Estrogen Receptor beta / biosynthesis
  • Estrogen Receptor beta / genetics
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects*
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Hernia, Abdominal / etiology
  • Hernia, Abdominal / metabolism
  • Hernia, Abdominal / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 / biosynthesis*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 / genetics
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications / metabolism
  • Postoperative Complications / pathology*
  • Recurrence
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Surgical Wound Dehiscence
  • Wound Healing / drug effects


  • COL3A1 protein, human
  • Collagen Type I
  • Collagen Type I, alpha 1 Chain
  • Collagen Type III
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha
  • Estrogen Receptor beta
  • Estradiol
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2