Hungarian Immunology

[Molecular and cellular basis of fibrosis: recent insights to the pathomechanism of scleroderma from animal models and fibroblast studies]

LAKOS Gabriella, SHINSUKE Takagawa, JOHN Varga

DECEMBER 20, 2002

Hungarian Immunology - 2002;1(04)

[Scleroderma is a chronic, progressive connective tissue disorder featuring inflammation, fibrosis, vascular injury, and immunologic abnormalities. Fibrosis, a hallmark of the disease, is characterized by excessive synthesis and deposition of extracellular matrix components, mainly type I collagen in affected tissue. The key target organs are the skin, lungs, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract and heart. The pathogenesis of fibrosis remains poorly understood, and effective treatments are lacking. While unifying concept to explain the pathogenesis of fibrosis has not yet emerged, multiple alterations result in the development of pathological tissue fibrosis have been recently identified. Transforming growth factor-β, a potent profibrotic cytokine plays a key role in the process. There is growing knowledge on identifying the cytokine and growth factor mediators of fibrosis, characterizing their interactions, and in delineating the cellular and molecular signaling pathways that are activated by these mediators. This review summarizes recent results obtained from fibroblast studies, animal models, and gene expression experiments. A major goal of investigations into the pathomechanism of fibrosis is identifying new therapeutic targets for scleroderma.]

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