Objective - The transcription factor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-γ plays an important role in controlling cell differentiation. The aim of the present study was to examine whether PPAR-γ expression was reduced in skin scleroderma fibroblasts and whether PPAR-γ agonists could suppress the persistent fibrotic phenotype of skin scleroderma fibroblasts.
Methods - Dermal fibroblasts were isolated from site-, age- and sex-matched healthy individuals and lesional areas of individuals with dcSSc. Western blot and collagen gel contraction analyses were used to detect protein expression in the presence or absence of the PPAR-γ agonist rosiglitazone.
Results - PPAR-γ expression was reduced in dcSSc fibroblasts. The PPAR-γ agonist rosiglitazone alleviated the persistent fibrotic phenotype of dcSSc fibroblasts.
Conclusion - Rosiglitazone may alleviate the extent of fibrosis in dcSSc.