Scleroderma fibroblasts constitutively express the long pentraxin PTX3

Michele M. Luchetti, Paola Sambo, Petra Majlingová, Silvia Svegliati Baroni, Giuseppe Peri, Paolo Paroncini, Martino Introna, Antonella Stoppacciaro, Alberto Mantovani, Armando Gabrielli

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Objective. PTX3 is a secreted molecule which consists of a C-terminal domain similar to classical pentraxins (e.g. C-reactive protein) and of an unrelated N-terminal domain. Unlike the classical pentraxins, PTX3 is expressed in response to IL-1β and TNF-α but not to IL-6. The present study was designed to investigate the expression of PTX3 in normal and scleroderma fibroblasts. Methods. Normal and SSc fibroblasts were cultured in the presence and absence of inflammatory cytokines. PTX3 mRNA expression in fibroblasts was evaluated by Northern analysis. PTX3 protein levels in fibroblast culture medium were estimated by ELISA. Results. Normal fibroblasts were induced to express high levels of PTX3 mRNA by IL-1β and TNF-α but not by other cytokines or growth factors. Scleroderma fibroblasts, unlike normal fibroblasts, constitutively expressed high levels of PTX3 in the absence of deliberate stimulation. The constitutive expression of PTX3 in SSc fibroblasts was not modified by anti-TNF-α antibodies or IL-1 receptor antagonist. In contrast, IFN-γ and TGF-β inhibited the constitutive but not the stimulated expression of PTX3 in fibroblasts. Conclusions. PTX3 is a main feature of activated scleroderma fibroblasts.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical and Experimental Rheumatology
Issue number3 SUPPL. 33
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Autoimmunity
  • Cytokine
  • Fibroblast
  • Inflammation
  • Pentraxin
  • Scleroderma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology

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    Luchetti, M. M., Sambo, P., Majlingová, P., Svegliati Baroni, S., Peri, G., Paroncini, P., Introna, M., Stoppacciaro, A., Mantovani, A., & Gabrielli, A. (2004). Scleroderma fibroblasts constitutively express the long pentraxin PTX3. Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, 22(3 SUPPL. 33).