Author(s): LudwickaBradley A, Silver RM, Bogatkevich GS
Abstract Share this page
Abstract OBJECTIVES: Interstitial lung disease in systemic sclerosis (SSc-ILD) is often an irreversible and progressive fibrosing process that now is the leading cause of scleroderma-related deaths. In this review we present our current understanding of the role played by coagulation and particularly by thrombin in autoimmune-mediated tissue injury and fibrosis, mainly as it relates to SSc-ILD. METHODS: We used PubMed to search for articles published up to October 2010 for keywords referring to autoimmunity, coagulation, pulmonary fibrosis, and scleroderma. RESULTS: SSc-ILD is an autoimmune disease associated with lymphocyte activation and release of various cytokines and growth factors. The production of autoantibodies is a central feature in SSc. Activation of the coagulation cascade with release of thrombin is 1 of the earliest events following tissue injury. Thrombin contributes to autoimmune responses by activating of pathogenic Th2 lymphocyte profile in SSc. Thrombin also modulates tissue repair responses, stimulates transformation of epithelial cells, endothelial cells, and fibroblasts into myofibroblast phenotype, and induces secretion of several pro-immune and profibrotic factors, which serve as antigens for pathogenic autoantibodies production in SSc-ILD. CONCLUSIONS: The identification of links between autoimmunity and coagulation would provide new insights into the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis associated with autoimmune diseases and further acknowledge the importance of thrombin in the development of SSc-ILD. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Semin Arthritis Rheum
and referenced in Rheumatology: Current Research