Background/Aims: The imbalance between degradation and synthesis of the glomerular extracellular matrix (ECM) causes glomerular sclerosis in various types of glomerulonephritis. We investigated the effect of prostacyclin, which is an inflammatory mediator, on the production of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 and MMP-2 in human cultured mesangial cells. The synthesis of Jun proteins and Ets-1 proteins, which are related with MMP-9 gene, was also studied. Methods: The production of MMP-9 and MMP-2 was investigated by gelatin zymography. Western blotting was undertaken to analyze the protein synthesis of Jun and Ets-1. Results: Prostacyclin inhibited the production of MMP-9 induced by phorbol ester. The inhibitory effect by prostacyclin was reversed in part by the pretreatment with an inhibitor of protein kinase A, such as H-89. Forskolin also inhibited the production of MMP-9. The production of MMP-2 was constitutionally seen and was not influenced by prostacyclin and forskolin. The synthesis of Jun protein augmented by phorbol ester was suppressed by prostacyclin. Ets-1 protein was constitutionally synthesized and was not affected by phorbol ester and prostacyclin. Conclusion: Prostacyclin plays an important role in inflammatory glomerular disorders by regulating the metabolism of ECM. The production of MMP-9 and MMP-2 may be under the different control pathways.

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