TRPA1 as a potential factor and drug target in scleroderma: dermal fibrosis and alternative macrophage activation are attenuated in TRPA1-deficient mice in bleomycin-induced experimental model of scleroderma

Ilari Mäki-Opas, Mari Hämäläinen, Eeva Moilanen, Morena Scotece

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Abstract

Background: Systemic sclerosis is a rheumatoid disease best known for its fibrotic skin manifestations called scleroderma. Alternatively activated (M2-type) macrophages are normally involved in the resolution of inflammation and wound healing but also in fibrosing diseases such as scleroderma. TRPA1 is a non-selective cation channel, activation of which causes pain and neurogenic inflammation. In the present study, we investigated the role of TRPA1 in bleomycin-induced skin fibrosis mimicking scleroderma. Methods: Wild type and TRPA1-deficient mice were challenged with intradermal bleomycin injections to induce a scleroderma-mimicking disease. Macrophages were investigated in vitro to evaluate the underlying mechanisms. Results: Bleomycin induced dermal thickening and collagen accumulation in wild type mice and that was significantly attenuated in TRPA1-deficient animals. Accordingly, the expression of collagens 1A1, 1A2, and 3A1 as well as pro-fibrotic factors TGF-beta, CTGF, fibronectin-1 and YKL-40, and M2 macrophage markers Arg1 and MRC1 were lower in TRPA1-deficient than wild type mice. Furthermore, bleomycin was discovered to significantly enhance M2-marker expression particularly in the presence of IL-4 in wild type macrophages in vitro, but not in macrophages harvested from TRPA1-deficient mice. IL-4-induced PPARγ-expression in macrophages was increased by bleomycin, providing a possible mechanism behind the phenomenon. Conclusions: In conclusion, the results indicate that interfering TRPA1 attenuates fibrotic and inflammatory responses in bleomycin-induced scleroderma. Therefore, TRPA1-blocking treatment could potentially alleviate M2 macrophage driven diseases like systemic sclerosis and scleroderma.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12
JournalArthritis Research and Therapy
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Inflammation
  • Macrophages
  • Scleroderma
  • Systemic
  • Transient receptor potential channels
  • TRPA1

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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