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Biochemistry - Diabetes and Endocrinology - Urology

CXC-Type Chemokines Promote Myofibroblast Phenoconversion and Prostatic Fibrosis
Published: Friday, November 16, 2012
Author: Mehrnaz Gharaee-Kermani et al.

by Mehrnaz Gharaee-Kermani, Sathish Kasina, Bethany B. Moore, Dafydd Thomas, Rohit Mehra, Jill A. Macoska

Recent studies from our group suggest that extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition and fibrosis characterize the peri-urethral prostate tissues of some men suffering from Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS) and that fibrosis may be a contributing factor to the etiology of LUTS. Fibrosis can generally be regarded as an errant wound-healing process in response to chronic inflammation, and several studies have shown that the aging prostate tissue microenvironment is rich with inflammatory cells and proteins. However, it is unclear whether these same inflammatory proteins, particularly CXC-type chemokines, can mediate myofibroblast phenoconversion and the ECM deposition necessary for the development of prostatic tissue fibrosis. To examine this, immortalized and primary prostate stromal fibroblasts treated with TGF-ß1, CXCL5, CXCL8, or CXCL12 were evaluated morphologically by microscopy, by immunofluorescence and qRT-PCR for aSMA, collagen 1, vimentin, calponin, and tenascin protein and transcript expression, and by gel contraction assays for functional myofibroblast phenoconversion. The results of these studies showed that that immortalized and primary prostate stromal fibroblasts are induced to express collagen 1 and 3 and aSMA gene transcripts and proteins and to undergo complete and functional myofibroblast phenoconversion in response to CXC-type chemokines, even in the absence of exogenous TGF-ß1. Moreover, CXCL12-mediated myofibroblast phenoconversion can be completely abrogated by inhibition of the CXCL12 receptor, CXCR4. These findings suggest that CXC-type chemokines, which comprise inflammatory proteins known to be highly expressed in the aging prostate, can efficiently and completely mediate myofibroblast phenoconversion and may thereby promote fibrotic changes in prostate tissue architecture associated with the development and progression of male lower urinary tract dysfunction.