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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Fibroblast stimulation in schistosomiasis. IV. Isolated egg granulomas elaborate a fibroblast chemoattractant in vitro.

Hepatic fibrosis complicates the chronic granulomatous inflammatory reaction to Schistosoma mansoni eggs, and is the major cause of morbidity and mortality in human schistosomiasis. We previously presented evidence that schistosomal egg granulomas secreted factors that can stimulate fibroblast proliferation and collagen synthesis in vitro. We now report that serum-free supernatants from cultures of hepatic egg granulomas isolated from S. mansoni-infected mice contained activity that stimulated the directional migration of human and guinea pig dermal fibroblasts in modified Boyden chambers. This fibroblast chemotactic activity was also detected in culture supernatants of granuloma adherent cells highly enriched for macrophages (95% latex-ingesting) but not in culture supernatants from resident peritoneal macrophages of uninfected or infected mice. This suggests that granuloma macrophages are a source of the chemotactic activity. The chemoattractant had the properties of large molecular weight (greater than 200,000 daltons; Sephadex G-200 gel filtration), pl approximately 4.5 (preparative flatbed isoelectrofocusing in granular matrix), heat stability (56 degrees C; 45 min), and trypsin sensitivity. Since preincubation of the partially purified granuloma and adherent-cell derived chemoattractants with rabbit anti-human fibronectin antibody abolished their chemotactic activity, it appears that the factor is antigenically similar to fibronectin. We propose that egg granuloma macrophages are activated in vivo to secrete a fibronectin-like molecule with activity that stimulates the directional migration of fibroblasts. This factor may therefore play a role in the local recruitment of fibroblasts and, in concert with other granuloma-derived factors, may play an important role in the pathogenesis of hepatic fibrosis in schistosomiasis.[1]


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