Yohei Ichimura

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OBJECTIVE Galectin-3 is a multifunctional protein implicated in a variety of biological processes including fibrosis, angiogenesis, and immune activation, all of which are associated with the development of systemic sclerosis (SSc). We investigated the clinical significance of serum galectin-3 levels in SSc. METHODS Serum galectin-3 levels were determined(More)
OBJECTIVE Bleomycin-induced fibrosis and the tight skin (TSK/+) mouse are well-established experimental murine models of human systemic sclerosis (SSc). Growing evidence has demonstrated the pivotal role of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) in several autoimmune inflammatory diseases, including SSc. This study was undertaken to determine the role of TLR-4 in the(More)
Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is believed to be caused by a complex interplay between genetic factors and environmental influences. Although silicone has been considered to be a candidate of environmental agents, clinical data presented so far fail to show a significant association between silicone breast implant (SBI) and the development of SSc. Because we(More)
OBJECTIVE Progranulin is a growth factor that is active in wound repair and is an antagonist of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptors, regulating fibroblast activation, angiogenesis, and inflammation. Because long-standing activation of gene programs related to wound healing is a hallmark of systemic sclerosis (SSc), we sought to investigate the role of(More)
Tie1 is an endothelial cell-specific tyrosine kinase receptor, which maintains vascular integrity and regulates angiogenesis via modulating angiopoietin/Tie2 signaling. Since the altered angiogenesis is closely related to the developmental process of systemic sclerosis (SSc), we herein investigated the clinical significance of serum soluble Tie1 (sTie1)(More)
Previous studies have demonstrated that B cells play critical roles in autoimmune disorders including systemic sclerosis (SSc) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). However, the effectiveness of rituximab (RTX), a chimeric anti-CD20 antibody, for SSc-associated interstitial lung disease (ILD) or SLE disease activity remains controversial. We herein report(More)
Systemic plasmacytosis is characterized by plasma cell proliferation in multiple organs including skin, and by polyclonal hypergammaglobulinaemia. Hyperviscosity-related retinopathy has never been described with this condition, to our knowledge. We report a case of systemic plasmacytosis in a 49-year-old Japanese woman, who presented with fever, multiple(More)
OBJECTIVES Cathepsin V (CTSV) is a proteolytic enzyme potentially modulating angiogenic processes, collagen degradation and keratinocyte differentiation. We aimed to investigate the clinical association of serum CTSV levels and the mechanism by which CTSV expression is altered in SSc. METHODS Serum CTSV levels were determined by ELISA in 51 SSc and 18(More)
Cathepsin B (CTSB) is a proteolytic enzyme potentially modulating angiogenic processes and extracellular matrix remodeling. While matrix metalloproteinases are shown to be implicated in tissue fibrosis and vasculopathy associated with systemic sclerosis (SSc), the role of cathepsins in this disease has not been well studied. The aim of this study is to(More)
OBJECTIVE Visfatin is a member of the adipocytokines with pro-fibrotic, pro-inflammatory and immunomodulating properties potentially implicated in the pathogenesis of certain fibrotic and inflammatory autoimmune diseases. In this study, we investigated THE CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF SERUM VISFATIN LEVELS AND ITS CONTRIBUTION TO THE DEVELOPMENTAL PROCESS IN(More)