Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a chronic, multisystem orphan disease with a highly variable clinical course, high mortality rate, and a poorly understood complex pathogenesis. We have identified an important role for a subpopulation of monocytes and macrophages characterized by surface expression of the scavenger receptor macrophage receptor with collagenous structure (MARCO) in chronic inflammation and fibrosis in SSc and in preclinical disease models. We show that MARCO+ monocytes and macrophages accumulate in lesional skin and lung in topographic proximity to activated myofibroblasts in patients with SSc and in the bleomycin-induced mouse model of SSc. Short-term treatment of mice with a potentially novel nanoparticle, poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLG), which is composed of a carboxylated, FDA-approved, biodegradable polymer and modulates activation and trafficking of MARCO+ inflammatory monocytes, markedly attenuated bleomycin-induced skin and lung inflammation and fibrosis. Mechanistically, in isolated cells in culture, PLG nanoparticles inhibited TGF-dependent fibrotic responses in vitro. Thus, MARCO+ monocytes are potent effector cells of skin and lung fibrosis and can be therapeutically targeted in SSc using PLG nanoparticles.
Dan Xu, Swati Bhattacharyya, Wenxia Wang, Igal Ifergan, Ming-Yi Alice Chiang Wong, Daniele Procissi, Anjana Yeldandi, Swarna Bale, Roberta Goncalves Marangoni, Craig Horbinski, Stephen D. Miller, John Varga
This file is in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. If you have not installed and configured the Adobe Acrobat Reader on your system.
PDFs are designed to be printed out and read, but if you prefer to read them online, you may find it easier if you increase the view size to 125%.
Many versions of the free Acrobat Reader do not allow Save. You must instead save the PDF from the JCI Online page you downloaded it from. PC users: Right-click on the Download link and choose the option that says something like "Save Link As...". Mac users should hold the mouse button down on the link to get these same options.