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RATIONALE The complex pathologies associated with severe pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in humans have been a challenge to reproduce in mice due to the subtle phenotype displayed to PAH stimuli. OBJECTIVES Here we aim to develop a novel murine model of PAH that recapitulates more of the pathologic processes, such as complex vascular remodeling and(More)
BACKGROUND Systemic sclerosis (scleroderma) is a life-threatening autoimmune disease that is characterized by the presence of specific autoantibodies and fibrosis of the skin and major internal organs. METHODS We genotyped a polymorphism (G-945C) in the promoter of the connective-tissue growth factor (CTGF) gene in 1000 subjects in two groups: group 1,(More)
This study examines endothelin-induced modulation of extracellular matrix synthesis and remodeling by fibroblasts, and its potential role in the pathogenesis of systemic sclerosis (scleroderma). Endothelin-1 promoted fibroblast synthesis of collagen types I and III, but not fibronectin, by a mechanism dependent upon both ETA and ETB receptors. Conversely,(More)
Connective tissue fibrosis is the final common pathogenic process for almost all forms of chronic tissue injury. Whether caused by vascular dysfunction, inflammation, metabolic injury, trauma, or environmental agents, once initiated the fibrogenic process results in the progressive replacement of the normal tissue architecture with fibrotic lesions that(More)
Although the role of transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta) in initiating fibrosis is well established, the role that TGFbeta plays in maintaining fibrosis is unclear. The gene encoding connective tissue growth factor (ccn2; ctgf), which promotes fibrosis, is not normally expressed in dermal fibroblasts unless TGFbeta is present. However, in dermal(More)
BACKGROUND Inflammation is a feature of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), and increased circulating levels of cytokines are reported in patients with PAH. However, to date, no information exists on the significance of elevated cytokines or their potential as biomarkers. We sought to determine the levels of a range of cytokines in PAH and to examine(More)
OBJECTIVE Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF; CCN2) is overexpressed in systemic sclerosis (SSc) and has been hypothesized to be a key mediator of the pulmonary fibrosis frequently observed in this disease. CTGF is induced by transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta) and is a mediator of some profibrotic effects of TGFbeta in vitro. This study was(More)
OBJECTIVE As an initial approach to understanding the basis of the systemic sclerosis (SSc; scleroderma) phenotype, we sought to identify genes in the transforming growth factor beta (TGF beta) signaling pathway that are up-regulated in lesional SSc fibroblasts relative to their normal counterparts. METHODS We used gene chip, differential display,(More)
In normal adult fibroblasts, transforming growth factor-beta (TGFbeta) induces the expression of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF). CTGF independently promotes fibroblast proliferation and matrix deposition, and in acute models of fibrosis promotes cell proliferation and collagen deposition acting synergistically with TGFbeta. In contrast to normal(More)
In skin, the profibrotic protein connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) is not normally expressed. However, when skin cells are exposed to transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), CTGF is induced in fibroblasts but not in epithelial cells. We have begun to investigate the requirements for the fibroblast-selective induction of CTGF by TGF-beta. Previously(More)