Background and aims: Intestinal fibrosis is a clinically important issue of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It is unclear whether or not heat shock protein 47 (HSP47), a collagen-specific molecular chaperone, plays a critical role in intestinal fibrosis. The aim of this study is to investigate the role of HSP47 in intestinal fibrosis of murine colitis.
Methods: HSP47 expression and localization were evaluated in interleukin-10 knockout (IL-10KO) and wild-type (WT, C57BL/6) mice by immunohistochemistry. Expression of HSP47 and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) in colonic tissue was measured. In vitro studies were conducted in NIH/3T3 cells and primary culture of myofibroblasts separated from colonic tissue of IL-10KO (PMF KO) and WT mice (PMF WT) with stimulation of several cytokines. We evaluated the inhibitory effect of administration of small interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting HSP47 on intestinal fibrosis in IL-10KO mice in vivo.
Results: Immunohistochemistry revealed HSP47 positive cells were observed in the mesenchymal and submucosal area of both WT and IL-10 KO mice. Gene expressions of HSP47 and TGF-β1 were significantly higher in IL-10KO mice than in WT mice and correlated with the severity of inflammation. In vitro experiments with NIH3T3 cells, TGF-β1 only induced HSP47 gene expression. There was a significant difference of HSP47 gene expression between PMF KO and PMF WT. Administration of siRNA targeting HSP47 remarkably reduced collagen deposition in colonic tissue of IL-10KO mice.
Conclusions: Our results indicate that HSP47 plays an essential role in intestinal fibrosis of IL-10KO mice, and may be a potential target for intestinal fibrosis associated with IBD.
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