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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Induction of MMP-9 release from human dermal fibroblasts by thrombin: involvement of JAK/STAT3 signaling pathway in MMP-9 release

Li Wang1, Jianmin Luo3 and Shaoheng He12*

Author Affiliations

1 The First Affiliated Hospital, Shantou University Medical College, Shantou 515041, China

2 Clinical Experiment Center, the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210029, China

3 The Laboratory for Neural Repair, Shantou University Medical College, Shantou 515041, China

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BMC Cell Biology 2007, 8:14  doi:10.1186/1471-2121-8-14

Published: 7 May 2007



It has been recognized that dermal fibroblasts and matrix metalloproteases (MMP) play crucial roles in wound healing process in skin. Thrombin was found to stimulate IL-8 release from human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs). However, little is known of the effect of thrombin on secretion of MMPs from dermal fibroblasts. In the present study, the influence of thrombin on proMMP-2 and proMMP-9 activity release from primary cultured HDFs, and its potential signaling pathways were investigated.


The results showed that thrombin induced proMMP-9, but not proMMP-2 release from HDFs in a dose dependent manner at 6 h following incubation. Thrombin also upregulated expression of proMMP-9 mRNA in HDFs. Hirudin completely abolished the action of thrombin on HDFs. An agonist peptide of protease-activated receptor-1, SFLLR-NH2 stimulated an enhanced release of proMMP-9 from HDFs. AG490, an inhibitor of STAT3 inhibited basal and thrombin-provoked proMMP-9 release and phosphorylation of STAT3. PD98059, an inhibitor of MAPK and LY294002, an inhibitor PI3K failed to significantly inhibit thrombin induced proMMP-9 release.


Thrombin is a potent stimulus of proMMP-9 release from HDFs. Thrombin induced proMMP-9 release is most likely through activation of PAR-1. JAK/STAT3 signaling pathway is involved in proMMP-9 release from HDFs.