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Fibrogenic gene expression in the skin and lungs of animal model of systemic sclerosis: a histological, immunohistochemical and molecular study

Arafat, Eetmad A.a; Ghoneim, Fatma M.a; Elsamanoudy, Ayman Z.b

The Egyptian Journal of Histology: March 2015 - Volume 38 - Issue 1 - p 21–31
doi: 10.1097/01.EHX.0000459829.97943.23
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Background Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is an autoimmune disorder of unknown origin, characterized by excess accumulation of the extracellular matrix in the skin and other internal organs.

Aim of the work The current study was designed to establish an animal model of SSc in order to analyze the histological and immunohistochemical changes in the skin and lungs as well as to try to find a possible pathophysiologic mechanism for this disease by studying the gene expression of some fibrogenic genes.

Materials and methods Twenty adult male albino rats were included in this study. They were divided into two groups: the control group (10) and the bleomycin-treated group (10). Histological examination including H&E staining and Masson’s trichrome staining for skin and lung tissue samples and immunohistochemical examination for measuring α-SMA were performed. RNA was extracted from these tissue samples and semiquantitative Rt-PCR for α-SMA, transforming growth factor β (TGF-β), and TNF-α was performed.

Results Histological changes were observed in SSc, including collagen deposition and increased expression of α-SMA in both skin and lung tissues, with increased dermal thickness in the skin. Moreover, overexpression of α-SMA, TGF-β, and TNF-α in skin and lung tissues of the SSc group was observed.

Conclusion Male rat model is a good model for SSc. α-SMA, TGF-β, and TNF-α could play a role in the pathophysiologic mechanism of SSc, as they showed overexpression in both skin and lung tissues that correlate with the histological and immunohistochemical findings of the disease.

aDepartments of Histology and Cell Biology

bMedical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt

Correspondence to Eetmad Abdel-Galil Arafat, MD, Department of Histology and Cell Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt Tel: +20 102 858 7175; fax: +20502267016; e-mail: eetmadarafat@yahoo.com

Received September 14, 2014

Accepted December 12, 2014

© 2015 The Egyptian Journal of Histology
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