Induction of Autoimmunity in a Bleomycin-Induced Murine Model of Experimental Systemic Sclerosis: An Important Role for CD4+ T Cells

Department of Immunology, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya, Aichi, Japan.
Journal of Investigative Dermatology (Impact Factor: 7.22). 02/2009; 129(7):1688-95. DOI: 10.1038/jid.2008.431
Source: PubMed


Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is an autoimmune disease characterized by the excessive deposition of collagen in the skin or other organs and the production of specific antinuclear antibodies (ANAs). Recently, bleomycin (BLM)-induced experimental scleroderma was reported in a murine model. Here, we present further development of this model and suggest that it is appropriate for the analysis of human diffuse type SSc. BLM was injected into the shaved backs of C3H or BALB/c mice (100 microg/mouse) 5 days per week for 3 weeks. Skin fibrosis was confirmed and pathological changes were seen in the lower part of the esophagus and stomach similar to those seen in SSc. The sera from these mice had autoantibodies specific to the damaged tissues and ANAs. Transfer of CD4(+) T cells from BLM-treated BALB/c mice induced the same pathological changes and antibody production in untreated-BALB/c nude mice. Hence, tissue fibrosis and the production of ANAs are probably associated with CD4(+) T-cell activity in this model. In conclusion, this model will be valuable for investigating the relationship between tissue fibrosis and abnormalities of the immune system.

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    • "In addition, following the administration of very high doses of subcutaneous bleomycin, lung fibrosis with cellular infiltrates and damaged lung architecture appeared [141]. Antinuclear autoantibodies, such as anti-Scl-70, anti-U1-RNP, and anti-histone also reflect the development of a systemic immune reaction [142]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Systemic sclerosis is a systemic connective tissue disorder characterized by the fibrosis of the skin and certain visceral organs, vasculopathy, and immunological abnormalities. Several genetic and inducible animal models of SSc have been developed and are available for research studies. The purpose of this review is to summarize the various animal models of systemic sclerosis and describe the various contributions of these models in terms of understanding the pathophysiology of the condition and searching for new therapeutic strategies for this incurable disease.
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    • "B cells may infiltrate and persist in lung or skin via CD19-dependent signaling.18,20 Transfer of CD4 cells from an inflamed animal will transfer scleroderma to a naïve animal.21 The genetic bases of all aspects of this proposed cascade are amenable to confirmation and exploration by using the approach outlined in this study. "
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    ABSTRACT: The antineoplastic drug bleomycin leads to the side effect of pulmonary fibrosis in both humans and mice. We challenged genetically diverse inbred lines of mice from the Collaborative Cross with bleomycin to determine the heritability of this phenotype. Sibling pairs of mice from 40 lines were treated with bleomycin. Lung disease was assessed by scoring lung pathology and by measuring soluble collagen levels in lavage fluid. Serum micro ribonucleic acids (miRNAs) were also measured. Inbred sibling pairs of animals demonstrated high coinheritance of the phenotypes of disease susceptibility or disease resistance. The plasma levels of one miRNA were clearly correlated in sibling mice. The results showed that, as in humans, the lines that comprise the Collaborative Cross exhibited wide genetic variation in response to this drug. This finding suggests that the genetically diverse Collaborative Cross animals may reveal drug effects that might be missed if a study were based on a conventional mouse strain.
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    ABSTRACT: Scleroderma is a fibrotic condition characterized by immunological abnormalities, vascular injury and increased accumulation of extracellular matrix proteins in the skin. Although the etiology of scleroderma has not yet been fully elucidated, a growing body of evidence suggests that extracellular matrix overproduction by activated fibroblasts results from a complex interaction among endothelial cells, lymphocytes, macrophages and fibroblasts, through a number of mediators, such as cytokines, chemokines and growth factors. For a better understanding of the pathophysiology of scleroderma, animal models are important tools. These models reproduce several histological as well as biochemical aspects of human scleroderma, and we can learn a lot through animal studies. On the other hand, it must be emphasized that studying animal models cannot answer all the problems of human scleroderma. In this review, I introduce current insights into the pathogenesis and also recent updates of therapeutic approaches using several animal models of SSc, and discuss their contribution to our understanding of the pathogenesis of, and treatments for, human scleroderma.
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