Fibroblasts profiling in scarring trachoma identifies IL-6 as a functional component of a fibroblast-macrophage pro-fibrotic and pro-inflammatory feedback loop.


Kechagia, JZ; Ezra, DG; Burton, MJ; Bailly, M; (2016) Fibroblasts profiling in scarring trachoma identifies IL-6 as a functional component of a fibroblast-macrophage pro-fibrotic and pro-inflammatory feedback loop. Sci Rep, 6. p. 28261. ISSN 2045-2322 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/srep28261

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Abstract

Trachoma is a conjunctiva scarring disease, which is the leading infectious cause of blindness worldwide. Yet, the molecular mechanisms underlying progressive fibrosis in trachoma are unknown. To investigate the contribution of local resident fibroblasts to disease progression, we isolated conjunctival fibroblasts from patients with scarring trachoma and matching control individuals, and compared their gene expression profiles and functional properties in vitro. We show that scarring trachoma fibroblasts substantially differ from control counterparts, displaying pro-fibrotic and pro-inflammatory features matched by an altered gene expression profile. This pro-inflammatory signature was exemplified by increased IL-6 expression and secretion, and a stronger response to macrophage-mediated stimulation of contraction. We further demonstrate that scarring trachoma fibroblasts can promote Akt phosphorylation in macrophages in an IL-6 -dependent manner. Overall this work has uncovered a distinctive molecular fingerprint for scarring trachoma fibroblasts, and identified IL-6- as a potential contributor to the chronic conjunctival fibrosis, mediating reciprocal pro-fibrotic/pro-inflammatory interactions between macrophages and fibroblasts.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Clinical Research
Research Centre: Neglected Tropical Diseases Network
PubMed ID: 27321784
Web of Science ID: 378031600001
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/2551702

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