Background Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is an autoimmune disease characterised by fibrosis of the skin and the internal organs. Except for anticentromere, antitopoisomerase I and antipolymerase III antibodies, there are no reliable circulating markers predicting susceptibility and internal organ complications. This study has exploited a proteome-wide profiling method with the aim to identify new markers to identify SSc phenotype.
Method 40 SSc patients were included for proteomic identification. Patients were stratified as having diffuse cutaneous SSc (dcSSc) (n=19) or limited cutaneous SSc (lcSSc) (n=21) according to the extent of skin involvement. As controls 19 healthy donors were included. Blood was drawn and plasma was stored before analysing with the SELDI-TOF-MS. For replication in serum, the cohort was extended with 60 SSc patients.
Results Proteomic analysis revealed a list of 25 masspeaks that were differentially expressed between SSc patients and healthy controls. One of the peaks was suggestive for S100A8, a masspeak we previously found in supernatant of plasmacytoid dendritic cells from SSc patients. Increased expression of S100A8/A9 in SSc patients was confirmed in replication cohort compared with controls. Intriguingly, S100A8/A9 was highest in patients with limited cutaneous SSc having lung fibrosis.
Conclusions S100A8/A9 was robustly found to be elevated in the circulation of SSc patients, suggesting its use as a biomarker for SSc lung disease and the need to further explore the role of TLR in SSc.
- systemic sclerosis
- Toll-like receptors
- s100A proteins