AbstractThe timing pattern in which dipeptidyl-peptidase IV inhibitors (DPP4i) confer the risk of bullous pemphigoid (BP) is unknown. To investigate the odds of BP following exposure to DPP4i and to perform a duration-response analysis evaluating the risk of BP in relation to the duration of exposure to the culprit drug. A population-based nested case–control study was performed comparing diabetic patients with BP (n = 1458) with age-, sex- and ethnicity-matched diabetic control subjects (n = 6051) with respect to the prevalence of exposure to DPP4i. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) were estimated by logistic regression. Overall exposure to DPP4i was associated with an 80% increase in the odds of subsequent BP (OR, 1.81; 95% CI, 1.46–2.08; P < 0.001). In an intraclass analysis, the odds of BP were increased in association with vildagliptin (OR, 3.40; 95% CI, 2.69–4.29; P < 0.001) and sitagliptin (OR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.33–1.84; P < 0.001). In a duration-response analysis, the highest likelihood of BP was found 1–2 years after commencing the drug (OR, 2.66; 95% CI, 1.97–3.59; P < 0.001). The odds of BP were increased across all time periods and retained its statistical significance even ≥ 6 years after the drug initiation (OR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.09–1.91; P = 0.011). Relative to other diabetic patients with BP, patients with DPP4i-associated BP were more likely to be admitted to inpatient dermatologic wards (OR, 1.66; 95% CI, 1.30–2.13; P < 0.001) and had higher mean(SD) numbers of outpatient dermatologist visits (14.7[14.8] vs. 12.3[13.2], respectively; P = 0.006). DPP4i should be suspected as a predisposing factor for BP even numerous years after the drug initiation.
AbstractSkin fibrosis is one central hallmark of the heterogeneous autoimmune disease systemic sclerosis. So far, there are hardly any standardized and effective treatment options. Pathogenic mechanisms underlying fibrosis comprise excessive and uncontrolled myofibroblast differentiation, increased extracellular matrix protein (ECM) synthesis and an intensification of the forces exerted by the cytoskeleton. A deeper understanding of fibroblast transformation could help to prevent or reverse fibrosis by specifically interfering with abnormally regulated signaling pathways. The transcription factor NF-κB has been implicated in the progression of fibrotic processes. However, the cellular processes regulated by NF-κB in fibrosis as well as the NF-κB isoforms preferentially involved are still completely unknown. In an in vitro model of fibrosis, we consistently observed the induction of the c-Rel subunit of NF-κB. Functional abrogation of c-Rel by siRNA resulted in diminished cell contractility of dermal fibroblasts in relaxed, but not in stressed 3D collagen matrices. Furthermore, directed migration was reduced after c-Rel silencing and total N-cadherin expression level was diminished, possibly mediating the observed cellular defects. Therefore, NF-кB c-Rel impacts central cellular adhesion markers and processes which negatively regulate fibrotic progression in SSc pathophysiology.