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Event: 68

Key Event Title

The KE title should describe a discrete biological change that can be measured. It should generally define the biological object or process being measured and whether it is increased, decreased, or otherwise definably altered relative to a control state. For example “enzyme activity, decreased”, “hormone concentration, increased”, or “growth rate, decreased”, where the specific enzyme or hormone being measured is defined. More help

Accumulation, Collagen

Short name
The KE short name should be a reasonable abbreviation of the KE title and is used in labelling this object throughout the AOP-Wiki. The short name should be less than 80 characters in length. More help
Accumulation, Collagen

Biological Context

Structured terms, selected from a drop-down menu, are used to identify the level of biological organization for each KE. Note, KEs should be defined within a particular level of biological organization. Only KERs should be used to transition from one level of organization to another. Selection of the level of biological organization defines which structured terms will be available to select when defining the Event Components (below). More help

Organ term

Further information on Event Components and Biological Context may be viewed on the attached pdf.The biological context describes the location/biological environment in which the event takes place.  For molecular/cellular events this would include the cellular context (if known), organ context, and species/life stage/sex for which the event is relevant. For tissue/organ events cellular context is not applicable.  For individual/population events, the organ context is not applicable. More help
Organ term
connective tissue

Key Event Components

Further information on Event Components and Biological Context may be viewed on the attached pdf.Because one of the aims of the AOP-KB is to facilitate de facto construction of AOP networks through the use of shared KE and KER elements, authors are also asked to define their KEs using a set of structured ontology terms (Event Components). In the absence of structured terms, the same KE can readily be defined using a number of synonymous titles (read by a computer as character strings). In order to make these synonymous KEs more machine-readable, KEs should also be defined by one or more “event components” consisting of a biological process, object, and action with each term originating from one of 22 biological ontologies (Ives, et al., 2017; See List). Biological process describes dynamics of the underlying biological system (e.g., receptor signalling). The biological object is the subject of the perturbation (e.g., a specific biological receptor that is activated or inhibited). Action represents the direction of perturbation of this system (generally increased or decreased; e.g., ‘decreased’ in the case of a receptor that is inhibited to indicate a decrease in the signalling by that receptor).Note that when editing Event Components, clicking an existing Event Component from the Suggestions menu will autopopulate these fields, along with their source ID and description. To clear any fields before submitting the event component, use the 'Clear process,' 'Clear object,' or 'Clear action' buttons. If a desired term does not exist, a new term request may be made via Term Requests. Event components may not be edited; to edit an event component, remove the existing event component and create a new one using the terms that you wish to add. More help
Process Object Action
collagen biosynthetic process collagen increased

Key Event Overview

AOPs Including This Key Event

All of the AOPs that are linked to this KE will automatically be listed in this subsection. This table can be particularly useful for derivation of AOP networks including the KE. Clicking on the name of the AOP will bring you to the individual page for that AOP. More help
AOP Name Role of event in AOP Point of Contact Author Status OECD Status
Protein Alkylation to Liver Fibrosis KeyEvent Brendan Ferreri-Hanberry (send email) Open for citation & comment TFHA/WNT Endorsed
Latent TGFbeta1 activation leads to pulmonary fibrosis KeyEvent Cataia Ives (send email) Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite
lysosomal uptake induced liver fibrosis KeyEvent Allie Always (send email) Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite EAGMST Under Review
Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 inhibition, lung fibrosis KeyEvent Allie Always (send email) Open for comment. Do not cite
AT1R, lung fibrosis KeyEvent Allie Always (send email) Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite


This is a structured field used to identify specific agents (generally chemicals) that can trigger the KE. Stressors identified in this field will be linked to the KE in a machine-readable manner, such that, for example, a stressor search would identify this as an event the stressor can trigger. NOTE: intermediate or downstream KEs in one AOP may function as MIEs in other AOPs, meaning that stressor information may be added to the KE description, even if it is a downstream KE in the pathway currently under development.Information concerning the stressors that may trigger an MIE can be defined using a combination of structured and unstructured (free-text) fields. For example, structured fields may be used to indicate specific chemicals for which there is evidence of an interaction relevant to this MIE. By linking the KE description to a structured chemical name, it will be increasingly possible to link the MIE to other sources of chemical data and information, enhancing searchability and inter-operability among different data-sources and knowledgebases. The free-text section “Evidence for perturbation of this MIE by stressor” can be used both to identify the supporting evidence for specific stressors triggering the MIE as well as to define broad chemical categories or other properties that classify the stressors able to trigger the MIE for which specific structured terms may not exist. More help

Taxonomic Applicability

Latin or common names of a species or broader taxonomic grouping (e.g., class, order, family) can be selected from an ontology. In many cases, individual species identified in these structured fields will be those for which the strongest evidence used in constructing the AOP was available in relation to this KE. More help
Term Scientific Term Evidence Link
human Homo sapiens High NCBI
Rattus norvegicus Rattus norvegicus High NCBI
mouse Mus musculus High NCBI

Life Stages

The structured ontology terms for life-stage are more comprehensive than those for taxa, but may still require further description/development and explanation in the free text section. More help
Life stage Evidence
All life stages

Sex Applicability

The authors must select from one of the following: Male, female, mixed, asexual, third gender, hermaphrodite, or unspecific. More help
Term Evidence

Key Event Description

A description of the biological state being observed or measured, the biological compartment in which it is measured, and its general role in the biology should be provided. For example, the biological state being measured could be the activity of an enzyme, the expression of a gene or abundance of an mRNA transcript, the concentration of a hormone or protein, neuronal activity, heart rate, etc. The biological compartment may be a particular cell type, tissue, organ, fluid (e.g., plasma, cerebrospinal fluid), etc. The role in the biology could describe the reaction that an enzyme catalyses and the role of that reaction within a given metabolic pathway; the protein that a gene or mRNA transcript codes for and the function of that protein; the function of a hormone in a given target tissue, physiological function of an organ, etc. Careful attention should be taken to avoid reference to other KEs, KERs or AOPs. Only describe this KE as a single isolated measurable event/state. This will ensure that the KE is modular and can be used by other AOPs, thereby facilitating construction of AOP networks. More help

Collagen is mostly found in fibrous tissues such as tendons, ligaments and skin. It is also abundant in corneas, cartilage, bones, blood vessels, the gut, intervertebral discs, and the dentin in teeth. In muscle tissue, it serves as a major component of the endomysium. Collagen is the main structural protein in the extracellular space in the various connective tissues, making up from 25% to 35% of the whole-body protein content. In normal tissues, collagen provides strength, integrity, and structure. When tissues are disrupted following injury, collagen is needed to repair the defect. If too much collagen is deposited, normal anatomical structure is lost, function is compromised, and fibrosis results.

The fibroblast is the most common collagen producing cell.Collagen-producing cells may also arise from the process of transition of differentiated epithelial cells into mesenchymal cells (EMT). This has been observed e.g. during renal fibrosis (transformation of tubular epithelial cells into fibroblasts) and in liver injury (transdifferentiation of hepatocytes and cholangiocytes into fibroblasts) (Henderson and Iredale, 2007).

There are close to 20 different types of collagen found with the predominant form being type I collagen. This fibrillar form of collagen represents over 90 percent of our total collagen and is composed of three very long protein chains which are wrapped around each other to form a triple helical structure called a collagen monomer. Collagen is produced initially as a larger precursor molecule called procollagen. As the procollagen is secreted from the cell, procollagen proteinases remove the extension peptides from the ends of the molecule. The processed molecule is referred to as collagen and is involved in fiber formation. In the extracellular spaces the triple helical collagen molecules line up and begin to form fibrils and then fibers. Formation of stable crosslinks within and between the molecules is promoted by the enzyme lysyl oxidase and gives the collagen fibers tremendous strength (Diegelmann,2001). The overall amount of collagen deposited by fibroblasts is a regulated balance between collagen synthesis and collagen catabolism. Disturbance of this balance leads to changes in the amount and composition of collagen. Changes in the composition of the extracellular matrix initiate positive feedback pathways that increase collagen production.

Normally, collagen in connective tissues has a slow turn over; degradating enzymes are collagenases, belonging to the family of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs).Other cells that can synthesize and release collagenase are macrophages, neutrophils, osteoclasts, and tumor cells (Di Lullo et al., 2001; Prockop and Kivirikko, 1995; Miller and Gay, 1987;Kivirikko  and  Risteli, 1976).

How It Is Measured or Detected

One of the primary considerations in evaluating AOPs is the relevance and reliability of the methods with which the KEs can be measured. The aim of this section of the KE description is not to provide detailed protocols, but rather to capture, in a sentence or two, per method, the type(s) of measurements that can be employed to evaluate the KE and the relative level of scientific confidence in those measurements. Methods that can be used to detect or measure the biological state represented in the KE should be briefly described and/or cited. These can range from citation of specific validated test guidelines, citation of specific methods published in the peer reviewed literature, or outlines of a general protocol or approach (e.g., a protein may be measured by ELISA).Key considerations regarding scientific confidence in the measurement approach include whether the assay is fit for purpose, whether it provides a direct or indirect measure of the biological state in question, whether it is repeatable and reproducible, and the extent to which it is accepted in the scientific and/or regulatory community. Information can be obtained from the OECD Test Guidelines website and the EURL ECVAM Database Service on Alternative Methods to Animal Experimentation (DB-ALM). ?

Determination of the amount of collagen produced in vitro can be done in a variety of ways ranging from simple colorimetric assays to elaborate chromatographic procedures using radioactive and non-radioactive material. What most of these procedures have in common is the need to destroy the cell layer to obtain solubilized collagen from the pericellular matrix. Rishikof et al describe several methods to assess the in vitro production of type I collagen: Western immunoblotting of intact alpha1(I) collagen using antibodies directed to alpha1(I) collagen amino and carboxyl propeptides, the measurement of alpha1(I) collagen mRNA levels using real-time polymerase chain reaction, and methods to determine the transcriptional regulation of alpha1(I) collagen using a nuclear run-on assay (Rishikof et al., (2005) . 


Domain of Applicability

This free text section should be used to elaborate on the scientific basis for the indicated domains of applicability and the WoE calls (if provided). While structured terms may be selected to define the taxonomic, life stage and sex applicability (see structured applicability terms, above) of the KE, the structured terms may not adequately reflect or capture the overall biological applicability domain (particularly with regard to taxa). Likewise, the structured terms do not provide an explanation or rationale for the selection. The free-text section on evidence for taxonomic, life stage, and sex applicability can be used to elaborate on why the specific structured terms were selected, and provide supporting references and background information.  More help

Humans: Bataller and  Brenner, 2005; Decaris et al., 2015.  

Mice: Dalton et al., 2009; Leung et al., 2008; Nan et al., 2013.

Rats: Hamdy and El-Demerdash, 2012; Li, Li et al., 2012; Natajaran et al., 2006; Luckey and Petersen, 2001.


List of the literature that was cited for this KE description. Ideally, the list of references, should conform, to the extent possible, with the OECD Style Guide ( (OECD, 2015). More help
  • Henderson, N.C. and J.P. Iredale (2007), Liver fibrosis: cellular mechanisms of progression and resolution, Clin Sci (Lond), vol. 112, no. 5, pp. 265-280.
  • Diegelmann, R.F. (2001), Collagen Metabolism, Wounds, vol. 13, no. 5, available at (accessed on 20 Jamuary 2016).
  • Di Lullo, G.A. et al. (2001), Mapping the Ligand-binding Sites and Disease-associated Mutations on the Most Abundant Protein in the Human, Type I Collagen, J. Biol. Chem, vol. 277, no. 6, pp. 4223–4231.
  • Prockop, D.J. and K.I. Kivirikko (1995), Collagens: molecular biology, diseases, and potentials for therapy, Annu Rev Biochem, vol. 64, pp. 403-434.
  • Miller, E.J. and S. Gay (1987), The collagens: an overview and update, Methods Enzymol, vol. 144, pp. 3-41.
  • Kivirikko, K.I. and L. Risteli (1976), Biosynthesis of collagen and its alterations in pathological states, Med Biol, vol. 54, no. 3, pp. 159-186.
  • Rishikof, D.C. et al. (2005), Methods for measuring type I collagen synthesis in vitro, Methods, Mol Med, vol. 117, pp.129-140.
  • Bataller, R. and D.A. Brenner (2005), Liver Fibrosis, J.Clin. Invest, vol. 115, no. 2, pp. 209-218.
  • Decaris, M.L. et al. (2015), Turnover rates of hepatic collagen and circulating collagen- associated proteins in humans with chronic liver disease, PLoS One, vol. 10, no. 4, e0123311.
  • Dalton, S.R. et al. (2009), Carbon tetrachloride-induced liver damage in asialoglycoprotein receptor-deficient mice, Biochem Pharmacol, vol. 77, no. 7, pp. 1283-1290.
  • Leung, T.M. et al. (2008), Endothelial nitric oxide synthase is a critical factor in experimental liver fibrosis, Int J Exp Pathol, vol. 89, no. 4, pp. 241-250.
  • Nan, Y.M. et al. (2013), Activation of peroxisome proliferator activated receptor alpha ameliorates ethanol mediated liver fibrosis in mice, Lipids in Health and Disease, vol. 12, p. 11.
  • Hamdy, N. and E. El-Demerdash. (2012), New therapeutic aspect for carvedilol: antifibrotic effects of carvedilol in chronic carbon tetrachloride-induced liver damage, Toxicol Appl Pharmacol, vol. 261, no. 3, pp. 292-299.
  • Li, Li et al. (2012), Establishment of a standardized liver fibrosis model with different pathological stages in rats, Gastroenterol Res Pract; vol. 2012, Article ID 560345.Natajaran, S.K. et al. (2006), Oxidative stress in the development of liver cirrhosis: a comparison of two different experimental models, J Gastroenterol Hepatol, vol. 21, no. 6, pp. 947-957.
  • Natarajan SK, Thomas S, Ramamoorthy P, et al. Oxidative stress in the development of liver cirrhosis: a comparison of two different experimental models. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2006;21:947–957. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2006.04231.x
  • Luckey, S.W., and D.R. Petersen (2001), Activation of Kupffer cells during the course of carbon tetrachloride-induced liver injury and fibrosis in rats, Exp Mol Pathol, vol. 71, no. 3, pp. 226-240.