Inhibition of sphingosine kinase 2 attenuates hypertrophic scar formation via upregulation of Smad7 in human hypertrophic scar fibroblasts
- Jian Zeng
- Bin Jiang
- Xia Xiao
- Rou Zhang
Affiliations: Department of Medical Cosmetology, The Second Affiliated Hospital, University of South China, Hengyang, Hunan 421001, P.R. China
- Published online on: July 9, 2020 https://doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2020.11313
Copyright: © Zeng
et al. This is an open access article distributed under the
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The aims of the present study were to investigate the role of sphingosine kinase 2 (Sphk2) in hypertrophic scar (HS) formation and its underlying mechanisms. The expression levels of Sphk2 and Smad7 in HS tissues and healthy skin tissues of patients undergoing plastic surgery were determined using immunohistochemical staining. Subsequently, the expression levels of Sphk2 and collagen I in human embryonic skin fibroblasts (control) and human HS fibroblasts (HSF) were detected using western blot analysis and immunofluorescence assay, respectively. Following Sphk2 silencing, Smad7 overexpression or both Sphk2 and Smad7 silencing, HSF proliferative ability was assessed using Cell Counting Kit‑8 assay and proliferation‑associated proteins were evaluated using western blot analysis. In addition, the level of apoptosis in HSF was assessed using flow cytometry and expression levels of apoptotic‑associated proteins were determined using western blotting. Furthermore, the expression levels of collagen I and proteins in the TGF‑β1/Smad signaling pathway were detected using western blot analysis. The results indicated that the expression of Sphk2 was significantly increased, while Smad7 expression was decreased in HS tissue. Moreover, the upregulation of Sphk2 and collagen I expression levels was identified in HSF. The present results also indicated that Sphk2 silencing or Smad7 overexpression inhibited proliferation, but promoted apoptosis of HSF, coupled with changes in the expression levels of proliferation‑associated proteins, with an increase in p21 and a decrease in cyclin D1 expression levels, and apoptosis‑associated proteins, with an increase in Bax and cleaved caspase‑3, and a decrease in Bcl‑2, which were reversed following transfection with both Sphk2 and Smad7 using small interfering RNA in HSF. In addition, the expression levels of transforming growth factor‑β1, phosphorylated (p)‑Smad2, p‑Smad3 and collagen I were reduced following Sphk2 silencing or Smad7 overexpression, which were abolished by silencing both Sphk2 and Smad7. Collectively, the present results indicated that inhibition of Sphk2 attenuated HS formation via upregulation of Smad7 expression, thus Sphk2 may serve as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of HS.