Fli1 deficiency induces CXCL6 expression in dermal fibroblasts and endothelial cells, contributing to the development of fibrosis and vasculopathy in systemic sclerosis

Takashi Taniguchi, Yoshihide Asano, Kouki Nakamura, Takashi Yamashita, Ryosuke Saigusa, Yohei Ichimura, Takehiro Takahashi, Tetsuo Toyama, Ayumi Yoshizaki, Shinichi Sato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective. CXCL6, a chemokine with proangiogenic property, is reported to be involved in vasculopathy associated with systemic sclerosis (SSc). We investigated the contribution of CXCL6 to SSc development by focusing on the association of friend leukemia virus integration 1 (Fli1) deficiency, a potential predisposing factor of SSc, with CXCL6 expression and clinical correlation of serum CXCL6 levels. Methods. mRNA levels of target genes and the binding of Fli1 to the CXCL6 promoter were evaluated by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR and chromatin immunoprecipitation, respectively. Serum CXCL6 levels were determined by ELISA. Results. FLI1 siRNA significantly enhanced CXCL6 mRNA expression in human dermal fibroblasts and human dermal microvascular endothelial cells, while Fli1 haploinsufficiency significantly suppressed CXCL6 mRNA expression in murine peritoneal macrophages stimulated with lipopolysaccharide. Supporting a critical role of Fli1 deficiency to induce SSc-like phenotypes, CXCL6 mRNA expression was higher in SSc dermal fibroblasts than in normal dermal fibroblasts. Importantly, Fli1 bound to the CXCL6 promoter in dermal fibroblasts, endothelial cells, and THP-1 cells. In patients with SSc, serum CXCL6 levels correlated positively with the severity of dermal and pulmonary fibrosis and were elevated in association with cardiac and pulmonary vascular involvement and cutaneous vascular symptoms, including Raynaud phenomenon, digital ulcers (DU)/pitting scars, and telangiectasia. Especially, serum CXCL6 levels were associated with DU/pitting scars and heart involvement by multiple regression analysis. Conclusion. CXCL6 expression is upregulated by Fli1 deficiency in fibroblasts and endothelial cells, potentially contributing to the development of fibrosis and vasculopathy in the skin, lung, and heart of SSc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1198-1205
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Volume44
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Aug 1

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