Microvascular damage in systemic sclerosis: detection and monitoring with biomarkers.
ABSTRACT Vascular disease is universal in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc), but there is a wide variability in its severity. It is clear that there is an early insult to the microvasculature, followed-up by on-going chronic process. This results in profound vascular damage in a subset of patients who develop severe events such as digital loss and pulmonary arterial hypertension. Although there is abundant evidence of vascular perturbation from studies of peripheral blood in SSc, there are few data about the ability to use these biomarkers to predict vascular outcomes. This paper examines the possibility of using circulating biomarkers to assess vascular disease activity and to predict severe vascular events among patients with SSc.
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ABSTRACT: Forty-nine patients with progressive systemic sclerosis who had undergone extensive studies including pulmonary artery catheterization as part of an ongoing prospective study of the natural course of progressive systemic sclerosis were evaluated. The overall prevalence of pulmonary arterial hypertension in this population of patients with progressive systemic sclerosis was 33 percent, and among 10 subjects with the CREST syndrome the prevalence of pulmonary hypertension was 50 percent. The relation between pulmonary arterial hypertension documented at catheterization and abnormal results of noninvasive studies suggesting pulmonary hypertension, including physical examination, chest x-ray, electrocardiography, echocardiography, single-breath diffusing capacity, and vital capacity, was studied. Diffusing capacity was significantly lower in those patients with definite pulmonary hypertension (mean pulmonary artery pressure of 22 mg Hg or more) compared with those with a normal mean pulmonary artery pressure, and a diffusing capacity below 43 percent of predicted showed the greatest sensitivity (67 percent) of any single diagnostic test in detecting definite pulmonary hypertension. Chest x-ray suggesting pulmonary hypertension was the least sensitive of the tests evaluated, but showed the greatest specificity (100 percent) in identifying patients with pulmonary hypertension. A classification matrix based on discriminant function analysis utilizing the combination of diffusing capacity below 43 percent of predicted and chest x-ray and electrocardiographic findings correctly identified 75 percent of patients with definite pulmonary hypertension and 97 percent of patients with a normal pulmonary artery pressure, but failed to identify correctly patients with mild pulmonary hypertension (mean pulmonary artery pressure of 20 mm Hg). These findings indicate that specific noninvasive studies are helpful in assessing the likelihood of normal or definitely elevated pulmonary artery pressures in patients with progressive systemic sclerosis, but patients with mild pulmonary hypertension are not likely to be identified by these noninvasive studies.The American Journal of Medicine 08/1983; 75(1):65-74. · 4.77 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Experiments were performed to determine the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in regulating vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) phenotype. After quiescence, cultured human VSMCs increased their expression of differentiation proteins (alpha-actin, calponin, and SM1 and SM2 myosin), but not beta-actin. ROS activity, determined using the H(2)O(2)-sensitive probe dichlorodihydrofluorescein (DCF), remained high in quiescent cells and was inhibited by catalase (3000 U/mL) or by N-acetylcysteine (NAC, 2 to 20 mmol/L). A superoxide dismutase mimic (SOD; MnTMPyP, 25 micromol/L) or SOD plus low concentrations of NAC (SODNAC2, 2 mmol/L) increased DCF fluorescence, which was inhibited by catalase or by NAC (10 to 20 mmol/L). Inhibition of ROS activity (by catalase or NAC) decreased the baseline expression of differentiation proteins, whereas elevation of ROS (by SOD or SODNAC2) increased expression of the differentiation markers. The latter effect was blocked by catalase or by NAC (10 to 20 mmol/L). None of the treatments altered beta-actin expression. SODNAC2-treated cells demonstrated contractions to endothelin that were absent in proliferating cells. p38 Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activity was decreased when ROS activity was reduced (NAC, 10 mmol/L) and was augmented when ROS activity was increased (SODNAC2). Inhibition of p38 MAPK with pyridyl imidazole compound (SB202190, 2 to 10 micromol/L) reduced expression of differentiation proteins occurring under basal conditions and in response to SODNAC2. Transduction of VSMCs with an adenovirus encoding constitutively active MKK6, an activator of p38 MAPK, increased expression of differentiation proteins, whereas transduction with an adenovirus encoding dominant-negative p38 MAPK decreased expression of the differentiation proteins. These findings demonstrate that ROS can increase VSMC differentiation through a p38 MAPK-dependent pathway.Circulation Research 08/2001; 89(1):39-46. · 11.86 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Endostatin is an angiogenesis inhibitor derived from type XVIII collagen. The aim of this study was to determine the concentrations of circulating endostatin in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc), and to assess the relationship between these concentrations, extension of tissular sclerosis, and presence of cutaneous scars or ulcers. The study involved 50 patients with SSc and 30 healthy subjects. Cutaneous extension of sclerosis was graded according to Barnett's classification system: 33 patients had grade I SSc and 17 patients had grades II or III SSc. The results of pulmonary function tests were abnormal in 31 of 50 patients, 8 of whom also had abnormalities on chest radiograms. Cutaneous scars or ulcers were found in 22 of 50 patients. Endostatin concentrations were determined using a competitive enzyme immunoassay method. The mean circulating endostatin concentration was significantly higher in the SSc group than in the healthy subjects group (mean +/- SD 53.2 +/- 22.4 ng/ml versus 9.9 +/- 9.7 ng/ml; P < 10(-4)), in patients with grade II or grade III SSc than in patients with grade I SSc (63.2 +/- 20.2 ng/ml versus 45.1 +/- 15.6 ng/ml; P < 10(-2)), in patients with abnormal findings on chest radiograms than in patients with normal findings on chest radiograms (67.6 +/- 22.4 ng/ml versus 50.4 +/- 21.6 ng/ml; P < 0.05), and in patients with cutaneous scars or ulcers than in patients without these manifestations (60.9 +/- 25.9 ng/ml versus 47.2 +/- 13.3 ng/ml; P < 10(-2)). Circulating endostatin concentrations are significantly increased in patients with SSc. Production of endostatin may result from tissular sclerosis and could contribute to the development of ischemic manifestations.Arthritis & Rheumatology 04/2000; 43(4):889-93. · 7.48 Impact Factor