Effects of oral cyclophosphamide and prednisolone therapy on the endothelial functions and clinical findings in patients with early diffuse systemic sclerosis.
ABSTRACT The endothelial damage of microvascular structures in systemic sclerosis (SSc; scleroderma) is associated with increased levels of endothelial adhesion molecules and endothelium-associated cytokines, including E-selectin and thrombomodulin. Although there is still no ideal specific pharmacologic therapy for SSc, cyclophosphamide has resulted in clinical improvement in patients with SSc-related active alveolitis. This study was designed to assess the expression of E-selectin and thrombomodulin in patients with early diffuse SSc, and to investigate the effects of oral cyclophosphamide combined with prednisolone therapy on the levels of these endothelium-associated cytokines and on the patients' clinical outcomes.
Thirteen patients with early diffuse SSc were treated with oral cyclophosphamide (2-2.5 mg/kg/day) and methylprednisolone (30 mg/every other day) for 1 year. The outcomes were determined as clinical (skin score) and laboratory parameters (including the erythrocyte sedimentation rate, complete blood cell count, levels of C-reactive protein, antinuclear antibody, anti-double-stranded DNA, rate of creatinine clearance, and findings on pulmonary function tests, esophageal manometry, and echocardiography). The concentrations of E-selectin and thrombomodulin were measured in the pretreatment and posttreatment serum samples from the SSc patients and from 12 healthy adults as controls.
In the patients with early diffuse SSc, pretreatment and posttreatment mean levels of E-selectin were 51 ng/ml (range 34.2-135.5) and 33.4 ng/ml (range 23-62.5), respectively (P = 0.01), and those of thrombomodulin were 82 ng/ml (range 35.8-120.5) and 74.6 ng/ml (range 23.3-91.3), respectively (P = 0.016). Clinical and laboratory parameters (the skin score and measures of pulmonary function [forced vital capacity and diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide]) were also improved (P < 0.05 for each) at the end of the followup period.
Combination therapy with cylophosphamide plus prednisolone is effective in the treatment of early diffuse SSc. Circulating levels of E-selectin and thrombomodulin not only demonstrate the extent of endothelial injury and/or activation, but also could be a useful marker to monitor the disease activity in SSc.
Article: Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a major mortality factor in diffuse systemic sclerosis, independent of interstitial lung disease.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: To determine whether pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a prognostic factor for mortality in diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis (dcSSc), independent of interstitial lung disease (ILD). ILD was diagnosed by high-resolution computed tomography and PAH (pulmonary arterial systolic pressure [PASP] > or =45 mm Hg) by echocardiography. All patients with ILD underwent testing for total lung capacity (TLC), forced vital capacity (FVC), and diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide. Eighty-six patients with dcSSc (mean age at diagnosis 44.5 years) were followed up for a median of 72.5 months. ILD was found in 52 patients (60%) and PAH in 18 (21%). ILD was associated with PAH in 15 patients. Seventeen patients died (19.8%), 9 of whom had PAH (P = 0.001) and 10 of whom had ILD (P = 0.99). By multivariate analysis, age at SSc diagnosis and PAH were the only independent predictors of death (hazard ratio [HR] 1.057, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.009-1.109, P = 0.020 and HR 4.09, 95% CI 1.47-11.5, P = 0.007, respectively). Mean TLC and mean FVC were similar in ILD patients with and those without PAH (P = 0.71 and P = 0.40, respectively). Among ILD patients, age at SSc diagnosis and PAH were again the sole predictors of death (HR 1.073, 95% CI 1.003-1.149, P = 0.042 and HR 5.07, 95% CI 1.09-23.8, P = 0.038, respectively). Twenty ILD patients received at least 6 monthly pulses of intravenous cyclophosphamide (CYC). In CYC-treated patients with PAH (n = 8), PASP increased significantly during the CYC regimen (mean +/- SD 55 +/- 14.5 mm Hg; P = 0.015 versus baseline), while TLC remained stable during the same period. These results indicate that, independent of ILD, PAH is a major prognostic factor for survival in dcSSc.Arthritis & Rheumatism 01/2006; 54(1):184-91. · 7.87 Impact Factor
Article: Dynamics of serum angiopoietin-2 levels correlate with efficacy of intravenous pulse cyclophosphamide therapy for interstitial lung disease associated with systemic sclerosis.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Angiopoietin-2 (Ang2) regulates the transition between vascular quiescence and angiogenesis in a context-dependent manner. In systemic sclerosis (SSc), serum Ang2 levels correlate with its disease activity. Therefore, we investigated the clinical significance of monitoring serum Ang2 levels during intravenous pulse cyclophosphamide (IVCY) therapy in SSc patients with interstitial lung disease (ILD). METHODS: Serum Ang2 levels were determined by a specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in seven SSc patients treated with IVCY and 20 healthy controls. In the patient group, serum samples were drawn the day before each IVCY therapy. RESULTS: Serum Ang2 levels tended to be higher in SSc patients before IVCY than in healthy controls and significantly correlated with KL-6, surfactant protein D, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and C-reactive protein in SSc patients with ILD. In sera drawn before the last IVCY, Ang2 levels were significantly decreased compared with initial levels. Notably, Δ serum Ang2 levels between baseline and after the first IVCY significantly correlated with Δ ILD score between before and after the entire IVCY therapy (r = 0.90, p < 0.01). CONCLUSION: Monitoring Ang2 levels during IVCY treatment may be useful to evaluate and predict the efficacy of this treatment for SSc-ILD.Modern Rheumatology 09/2012; · 1.58 Impact Factor
Article: Matrix metalloproteinase-1 up-regulation by hepatocyte growth factor in human dermal fibroblasts via ERK signaling pathway involves Ets1 and Fli1.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In this study, we clarified the molecular mechanism(s) underlying the regulation of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1 gene by hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) in cultured human dermal fibroblasts. HGF induced MMP-1 protein as well as mRNA at a transcriptional level via extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling pathway. The region in the MMP-1 promoter mediating the inducible responsiveness to HGF, defined by the transient transfection analysis of the serial 5' deletion constructs, contained an Ets binding site. Mutation of this Ets binding site abrogated the HGF-inducible promoter activity. Ets1 up-regulated the expression of MMP-1 promoter activity, whereas Fli1 had antagonistic effects on them. After HGF treatment, the protein level and the binding activity of Ets1 was increased and those of Fli1 was decreased, which were canceled by PD98059. These results suggest that HGF up-regulates MMP-1 expression via ERK signaling pathway through the balance of Ets1 and Fli1, which may be a novel mechanism of regulating MMP-1 gene expression.Nucleic Acids Research 02/2005; 33(11):3540-9. · 8.03 Impact Factor