According to recent research, plasmacytoid dendritic cells have been implicated in the pathogenesis of systemic sclerosis through mechanisms beyond the previously suggested production of type 1 interferon.
For the study, researchers isolated the cells from healthy people and from patients with systemic sclerosis. Then, they performed an analysis and validated their observations in five large cohorts of patients with systemic sclerosis. They compared the results with those in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, ankylosing spondylitis, and hepatic fibrosis. Researchers then correlated plasma levels of CXCL4 protein with features of systemic sclerosis and observed the direct effects of the protein in vitro and in vivo.
“Proteome-wide analysis and validation showed that CXCL4 is the predominant protein secreted by plasmacytoid dendritic cells in systemic sclerosis, both in circulation and in skin,” study authors were quoted as saying.