Further evidence of the involvement of the Wnt signaling pathway in Dupuytren's disease

ten Dam, E-J. P. M., van Beuge, M. M., Bank, R. A. & Werker, P. M. N., Mar-2016, In : Journal of Cell Communication and Signaling. 10, 1, p. 33-40 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Genetic background plays an important role in the development of Dupuytren's disease. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) showed that nine loci are associated with the disease, six of which contain genes that are involved in Wnt signaling (WNT2, WNT4, WNT7B, RSPO2, SFRP4, SULF1). To obtain insight in the role of these genes, we performed expression studies on affected and unaffected patient's tissues. Surgically obtained nodules and cords from eight Dupuytren's patients were compared to patient-matched control tissue (unaffected transverse palmar fascia). The Wnt-related genes found in the GWAS, the classical Wnt-downstream protein beta-catenin, as well as (myo) fibroblast markers were analyzed using real-time qPCR and immunohistochemical stainings for mRNA levels and protein levels, respectively. The collagen-coding genes COL1A1 and COL3A1 were highly upregulated on mRNA level, both in cords and nodules. Three Wnt-related genes were found to be differently regulated compared to control tissue: WNT2 was downregulated in nodules, WNT7B was upregulated in nodules, and SFRP4 was upregulated in nodules and cords. Immunohistochemistry revealed significantly less staining of Wnt2 in cords, but significantly more staining for Wnt7b in nodules. There was significantly more staining of alpha-SMA in nodules and cord and beta-catenin in nodules than in control tissue. We found differences in expression, both at mRNA and protein level, in several Wnt-related genes found earlier to be associated with Dupuytren's disease. Of these, Wnt7b was upregulated and found in close association with both alpha-SMA and beta-catenin expressing cells, making it a candidate pro-fibrotic mediator in Dupuytren's disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-40
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cell Communication and Signaling
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2016


  • beta-catenin, Dupuytren's disease, Fibrosis, Wnt signaling, BETA-CATENIN, POTENTIAL ROLE, IN-VITRO, FIBROSIS, MYOFIBROBLAST, EXPRESSION, ALTERS, CELLS

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