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F127-SE-tLAP thermosensitive hydrogel alleviates bleomycin-induced skin fibrosis via TGF-β/Smad pathway.

Molecular Medicine 2024 April 20
BACKGROUND: Skin fibrosis affects the normal function of the skin. TGF-β1 is a key cytokine that affects organ fibrosis. The latency-associated peptide (LAP) is essential for TGF-β1 activation. We previously constructed and prepared truncated LAP (tLAP), and confirmed that tLAP inhibited liver fibrosis by affecting TGF-β1. SPACE peptide has both transdermal and transmembrane functions. SPACE promotes the delivery of macromolecules through the stratum corneum into the dermis. This study aimed to alleviate skin fibrosis through the delivery of tLAP by SPACE.

METHODS: The SPACE-tLAP (SE-tLAP) recombinant plasmid was constructed. SE-tLAP was purified by nickel affinity chromatography. The effects of SE-tLAP on the proliferation, migration, and expression of fibrosis-related and inflammatory factors were evaluated in TGF-β1-induced NIH-3T3 cells. F127-SE-tLAP hydrogel was constructed by using F127 as a carrier to load SE-tLAP polypeptide. The degradation, drug release, and biocompatibility of F127-SE-tLAP were evaluated. Bleomycin was used to induce skin fibrosis in mice. HE, Masson, and immunohistochemistry were used to observe the skin histological characteristics.

RESULTS: SE-tLAP inhibited the proliferation, migration, and expression of fibrosis-related and inflammatory factors in NIH-3T3 cells. F127-SE-tLAP significantly reduced ECM production, collagen deposition, and fibrotic pathological changes, thereby alleviating skin fibrosis.

CONCLUSION: F127-SE-tLAP could increase the transdermal delivery of LAP, reduce the production and deposition of ECM, inhibit the formation of dermal collagen fibers, and alleviate the progression of skin fibrosis. It may provide a new idea for the therapy of skin fibrosis.

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