systemic sclerosis
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2022 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Michael Gernert ◽  
Hans-Peter Tony ◽  
Matthias Fröhlich ◽  
Eva Christina Schwaneck ◽  
Marc Schmalzing

BackgroundSystemic sclerosis (SSc) patients often need immunosuppressive medication (IS) for disease control. If SSc is progressive despite IS, autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (aHSCT) is a treatment option for selected SSc patients. aHSCT is effective with good available evidence, but not all patients achieve a treatment-free remission after aHSCT. Thus far, data about the need of IS after aHSCT in SSc is not published. The aim of this study was to investigate the use of IS after aHSCT, its efficacy, and the occurrence of severe adverse events (SAEs).MethodsTwenty-seven patients with SSc who had undergone aHSCT were included in this single-center retrospective cohort study. Clinical data, including IS, SAEs, and lung function data, were collected.ResultsSixteen of 27 (59.3%) patients received IS after aHSCT. Methotrexate, rituximab, mycophenolate, cyclophosphamide, and hydroxychloroquine were most commonly used. The main reason for starting IS was SSc progress. Nine patients received rituximab after aHSCT and showed an improvement in modified Rodnan skin score and a stabilization of lung function 2 years after rituximab. SAEs in patients with IS after aHSCT (50.0%) were not more common than in patients without IS (54.6%). SAEs were mostly due to SSc progress, secondary autoimmune diseases, or infections. Two deaths after aHSCT were transplantation related and three during long-term follow-up due to pulmonary arterial hypertension.ConclusionDisease progression and secondary autoimmune diseases may necessitate IS after aHSCT in SSc. Rituximab seems to be an efficacious treatment option in this setting. Long-term data on the safety of aHSCT is reassuring.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Zhixiao Xu ◽  
Chengshui Chen

Background: Interstitial lung disease in systemic sclerosis (SSc-ILD) is one of the most severe complications of systemic sclerosis (SSc) and is the main cause of mortality. In this study, we aimed to explore the key genes in SSc-ILD and analyze the relationship between key genes and immune cell infiltration as well as the key genes relevant to the hallmarks of cancer.Methods: Weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) algorithm was implemented to explore hub genes in SSc-ILD samples from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database. Logistic regression analysis was performed to screen and verify the key gene related to SSc-ILD. CIBERSORT algorithms were utilized to analyze immune cell infiltration. Moreover, the correlation between the key genes and genes relevant to cancer was also evaluated. Furthermore, non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) linking to PTGS2 were also explored.Results: In this study, we first performed WGCNA analysis for three GEO databases to find the potential hub genes in SSc-ILD. Subsequently, we determined PTGS2 was the key gene in SSC-ILD. Furthermore, in CIBERSORT analyses, PTGS2 were tightly correlated with immune cells such as regulatory T cells (Tregs) and was negatively correlated with CD20 expression. Moreover, PTGS2 was associated with tumor growth. Then, MALAT1, NEAT1, NORAD, XIST identified might be the most potential upstream lncRNAs, and LIMS1 and RANBP2 might be the two most potential upstream circRNAs.Conclusion: Collectively, our findings elucidated that ncRNAs-mediated downregulation of PTGS2, as a key gene in SSc-ILD, was positively related to the occurrence of SSc-ILD and abnormal immunocyte infiltration. It could be a promising factor for SSc-ILD progression to malignancy.

Gemma Lepri ◽  
Silvia Bellando Randone ◽  
Marco Matucci Cerinic ◽  
Serena Guiducci

2022 ◽  
pp. annrheumdis-2021-220004
Jean-Baptiste Vulsteke ◽  
Yves Piette ◽  
Carolien Bonroy ◽  
Patrick Verschueren ◽  
Daniel Blockmans ◽  

Biomedicines ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 10 (1) ◽  
pp. 163
Devis Benfaremo ◽  
Silvia Svegliati ◽  
Chiara Paolini ◽  
Silvia Agarbati ◽  
Gianluca Moroncini

Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a systemic, immune-mediated chronic disorder characterized by small vessel alterations and progressive fibrosis of the skin and internal organs. The combination of a predisposing genetic background and triggering factors that causes a persistent activation of immune system at microvascular and tissue level is thought to be the pathogenetic driver of SSc. Endothelial alterations with subsequent myofibroblast activation, excessive extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition, and unrestrained tissue fibrosis are the pathogenetic steps responsible for the clinical manifestations of this disease, which can be highly heterogeneous according to the different entity of each pathogenic step in individual subjects. Although substantial progress has been made in the management of SSc in recent years, disease-modifying therapies are still lacking. Several molecular pathways involved in SSc pathogenesis are currently under evaluation as possible therapeutic targets in clinical trials. These include drugs targeting fibrotic and metabolic pathways (e.g., TGF-β, autotaxin/LPA, melanocortin, and mTOR), as well as molecules and cells involved in the persistent activation of the immune system (e.g., IL4/IL13, IL23, JAK/STAT, B cells, and plasma cells). In this review, we provide an overview of the most promising therapeutic targets that could improve the future clinical management of SSc.

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