Platelet-derived growth factor-D (PDGF-D) is a more recent recognized growth factor involved in the regulation of several cellular processes, including cell proliferation, transformation, invasion, and angiogenesis by binding to and activating its cognate receptor PDGFR-β. After bile duct ligation or in the carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatic fibrosis model, PDGF-D showed upregulation comparable to PDGF-B. Moreover, adenoviral PDGF-D gene transfer induced hepatic stellate cell proliferation and liver fibrosis. We here investigated the molecular mechanism of PDGF-D involvement in liver fibrogenesis. Therefore, the GRX mouse cell line was stimulated with PDGF-D and evaluated for fibrotic markers and PDGF-D signaling pathways in comparison to the other PDGF isoforms. We found that PDGF-D failed to enhance Col I and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) production but has capacity to upregulate expression of the tissue inhibitor of metalloprotease 1 (TIMP-1) resulting in attenuation of MMP-2 and MMP-9 gelatinase activity as indicated by gelatinase zymography. This phenomenon was restored through application of a PDGF-D neutralizing antibody. Unexpectedly, PDGF-D incubation decreased both PDGFR-α and -β in mRNA and protein levels, and PDGF-D phosphorylated typrosines specific for PDGFR-α and -β. We conclude that PDGF-D intensifies fibrogenesis by interfering with the fibrolytic activity of the TIMP-1/MMP system and that PDGF-D signaling is mediated through both PDGF-α and -β receptors.
Keywords: Extracellular matrix; MMP; PDGF; Receptors; Signaling; TIMP-1.
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