The Pathogenesis of Systemic Sclerosis
ABSTRACT Systemic sclerosis (SSc), also known as scleroderma, is a rare connective tissue disease characterized by vascular and immune dysfunction, leading to fibrosis that can damage multiple organs. Its pathogenesis is complex and poorly understood. Two major clinical subtypes are the limited and diffuse forms. Research into SSc has been hampered by its rarity, its clinical heterogeneity, and the lack of mouse models that accurately recapitulate the disease. Clinical and basic studies have yielded some mechanistic clues regarding pathogenesis. Recent insights gained through the use of microarrays have revealed distinctive subsets of SSc within and beyond the limited and diffuse subsets. In this review, we discuss potential mechanisms underlying the vascular, autoimmune, and fibrotic points of dysregulation. Proper categorization of SSc patients for research studies by use of microarrays or other biomarkers is critical, as disease heterogeneity may explain some of the inconsistencies of prior studies.
- SourceAvailable from: Peter Roughley06/2014; 1:2–11. DOI:10.1016/j.bbacli.2013.12.001
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ABSTRACT: Systemic sclerosis (scleroderma) is a connective tissue disease characterized by excessive extracellular matrix deposition in the skin and visceral organs. Serum IL-6 levels are reported to be elevated in human scleroderma and chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) patients. IL-6 blockade using anti-IL-6 receptor mAb (anti-IL-6R mAb) results in amelioration of the pathologic symptoms of some autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. In this study, we examined the effects of anti-IL-6R mAb on either prevention or treatment of murine sclerodermatous cGVHD (Scl-cGVHD). We found that serum IL-6 levels in Scl-cGVHD mice gradually increased after bone marrow transplantation. Administration of anti-IL-6R mAb attenuated the development of severe Scl-cGVHD and fibrosis and resulted in an increase in CD4(+)CD25(+)FoxP3(+) regulatory T cells. However, treatment of established Scl-cGVHD with anti-IL-6R mAb showed no effects on disease severity. The effects of anti-IL-6R mAb were mostly inhibited by anti-CD25 mAb. Together, our results indicate that IL-6 has an important role in the pathogenesis of Scl-cGVHD. IL-6 blockade may be an effective approach for preventing Scl-cGVHD and treating cGVHD and scleroderma in humans.Journal of Investigative Dermatology advance online publication, 19 July 2012; doi:10.1038/jid.2012.226.Journal of Investigative Dermatology 07/2012; 132(12). DOI:10.1038/jid.2012.226 · 6.37 Impact Factor
- Systemic Sclerosis - An Update on the Aberrant Immune System and Clinical Features, 02/2012; , ISBN: 978-953-307-869-4