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Searching Novel Therapeutic Targets for Scleroderma: P2X7-Receptor Is Up-regulated and Promotes a Fibrogenic Phenotype in Systemic Sclerosis Fibroblasts

Gentile, D; Lazzerini, PE; Gamberucci, A; Natale, M; Selvi, E; Vanni, F; Ali, A; ... Capecchi, PL; + view all (2017) Searching Novel Therapeutic Targets for Scleroderma: P2X7-Receptor Is Up-regulated and Promotes a Fibrogenic Phenotype in Systemic Sclerosis Fibroblasts. Front. Pharmacol. , 8 , Article 638. 10.3389/fphar.2017.00638. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a connective tissue disorder presenting fibrosis of the skin and internal organs, for which no effective treatments are currently available. Increasing evidence indicates that the P2X7 receptor (P2X7R), a nucleotide-gated ionotropic channel primarily involved in the inflammatory response, may also have a key role in the development of tissue fibrosis in different body districts. This study was aimed at investigating P2X7R expression and function in promoting a fibrogenic phenotype in dermal fibroblasts from SSc patients, also analyzing putative underlying mechanistic pathways. METHODS: Fibroblasts were isolated by skin biopsy from 9 SSc patients and 8 healthy controls. P2X7R expression, and function (cytosolic free Ca2+ fluxes, α-smooth muscle actin [α-SMA] expression, cell migration, and collagen release) were studied. Moreover, the role of cytokine (interleukin-1β, interleukin-6) and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) production, and extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) activation in mediating P2X7R-dependent pro-fibrotic effects in SSc fibroblasts was evaluated. RESULTS: P2X7R expression and Ca2+ permeability induced by the selective P2X7R agonist 2′-3′-O-(4-benzoylbenzoyl)ATP (BzATP) were markedly higher in SSc than control fibroblasts. Moreover, increased αSMA expression, cell migration, CTGF, and collagen release were observed in lipopolysaccharides-primed SSc fibroblasts after BzATP stimulation. While P2X7-induced cytokine changes did not affect collagen production, it was completely abrogated by inhibition of the ERK pathway. CONCLUSION: In SSc fibroblasts, P2X7R is overexpressed and its stimulation induces Ca2+-signaling activation and a fibrogenic phenotype characterized by increased migration and collagen production. These data point to the P2X7R as a potential, novel therapeutic target for controlling exaggerated collagen deposition and tissue fibrosis in patients with SSc.

Type: Article
Title: Searching Novel Therapeutic Targets for Scleroderma: P2X7-Receptor Is Up-regulated and Promotes a Fibrogenic Phenotype in Systemic Sclerosis Fibroblasts
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fphar.2017.00638
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2017.00638
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 Gentile, Lazzerini, Gamberucci, Natale, Selvi, Vanni, Alì, Taddeucci, Del-Ry, Cabiati, Della-Latta, Abraham, Morales, Fulceri, Laghi-Pasini and Capecchi. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Pharmacology & Pharmacy, Systemic Sclerosis, P2X7 Receptor, Dermal Fibroblasts, Collagen, Fibrosis, Erk, Human Dermal Fibroblasts, Blood Mononuclear-Cells, P2X(7) Receptors, Rheumatoid-Arthritis, P2X7 Receptor, Growth-Factor, Purinergic Receptor, Collagen Production, Extracellular ATP, Gene-Expression
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Inflammation
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1575484
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