Editors' ChoiceCell Biology

Scar Formation

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Science's STKE  26 Jun 2007:
Vol. 2007, Issue 392, pp. tw226
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3922007tw226

Injured tissue produces fibrin, which makes a provisional extracellular matrix (ECM). Degradation of this fibrin ECM by plasmin is required for minimizing scar formation. Plasmin is produced by proteolytic cleavage of plasminogen by plasminogen activators (tPA and uPA), which are inhibited by plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1). Sachs et al. find that mice deficient in p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR) exhibit reduced fibrin deposition after sciatic nerve crush injury or lipopolysaccharide-induced pulmonary fibrosis. The decrease in fibrin associated with sciatic nerve injury was due to increased expression and activity of tPA, whereas the decrease in fibrin associated with pulmonary fibrosis was due to decreased PAI-1 abundance. In wild-type mice after sciatic nerve injury, Schwann cells in which p75NTR was abundant lacked tPA, which suggests that cells expressing p75NTR did not express tPA. The increased proteolytic activity toward fibrin (measured by in situ zymography) associated with the nerve injury in p75NTR−/− mice was prevented by application of a specific inhibitor of tPA or by crossing the mice with tPA−/− mice to produce mice deficient in both tPA and p75NTR. When cultured on a fibrin gel, Schwann cells from the p75NTR−/− mice degrade the fibrin, whereas wild-type Schwann cells form a monolayer. Studies with a transfected fibroblast cell line overexpressing p75NTR showed increased abundance of transcripts for PAI-1 and decreased transcripts and activity of tPA. Transcriptional regulation of tPA required a cAMP (adenosine 3′,5′-monophosphate) pathway. Inhibition of tPA activity in the p75NTR-overexpressing cells was prevented if cAMP concentrations were increased pharmacologically and cAMP concentrations were decreased in the p75NTR-overexpressing cells. The injured sciatic nerves also showed increased cAMP in the p75NTR−/− mice compared with injured nerves from wild-type mice. Coimmunoprecipitation studies and in vitro interaction studies indicated that p75NTR and phosphodiesterase 4A5 (PDE4A5) interacted. The authors propose that recruitment of PDE4A5 to the membrane inhibited cAMP signaling, a hypothesis supported by decreased activation of a plasma membrane protein kinase A reporter in the p75NTR-overexpressing cells. Tissue remodeling and scar formation appear to be additional ways that p75NTR signaling is involved in response to injury.

B. D. Sachs, G. S. Baillie, J. R. McCall, M. A. Passino, C. Schachtrup, D. A. Wallace, A. J. Dunlop, K. F. MacKenzie, E. Klussmann, M. J. Lynch, S. L. Sikorski, T. Nuriel, I. Tsigelny, J. Zhang, M. D. Houslay, M. V. Chao, K. Akassoglou, p75 neurotrophin receptor regulates tissue fibrosis through inhibition of plasminogen activation via a PDE4/cAMP/PKA pathway. J. Cell Biol. 177, 1119-1132 (2007). [Abstract] [Full Text]

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