European cytokine network

Role of endothelin-1 in the skin fibrosis of systemic sclerosis.

PMID 25990837


Endothelin-1 (ET-1) acts as a key regulator of vasoconstriction and fibrosis. Many previous studies have focused on the role of ET-1 in scleroderma (systemic sclerosis, SSc). We investigated the effects of ET-1 on the production of extracellular matrix in SSc and normal skin fibroblasts. Primary cultured dermal fibroblasts from SSc patients and healthy controls were treated with ET-1 (25 ng/mL) for 0 min, 15 min, 1 h, 24 h, 48 h and 72 h, respectively. Our results showed that, in SSc fibroblasts, ET-1 upregulated collagen type I, connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), type I plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1) and pAkt in a time-dependent manner within 72 h; in normal fibroblasts, 25 ng/mL ET-1 stimulation correlated with high levels of CTGF, PAI-1 and pAkt. The secretion of fibronectin (FN), collagen type I, and PAI-1 is markedly increased in the supernatant of both SSc fibroblasts and normal fibroblasts. Furthermore, ET-1 phosphorylates Smad2 and Smad3 in normal fibroblasts, but not in SSc fibroblasts. In conclusion, our results demonstrated that ET-1 may induce fibrosis in dermal fibroblasts through Akt signals.