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Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a life-threatening autoimmune disease characterised by autoimmunity, widespread microvascular involvement and progressive fibrosis of the skin and internal organs. Recent evidence indicates that matrix metalloproteinase-12 (MMP-12) plays a critical role in pathological lung tissue remodelling and in transforming growth factor β-induced and bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis. The authors have previously shown that different cell types (ie, fibroblasts and microvascular endothelial cells) isolated from the skin of patients with diffuse cutaneous SSc (dcSSc) constitutively overexpress and secrete MMP-12. Of …
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