Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2010

Comments

This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases Volume 69, Issue 1, January 2010, Pages 249-254. The published version is available at DOI: 10.1136/ard.2008.102624. Copyright © BMJ Publishing Group Ltd & European League Against Rheumatism.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the role of junctional adhesion molecule-A (JAM-A) in the pathogenesis of systemic sclerosis (SSc).

METHODS: Biopsy specimens from proximal and distal arm skin and serum were obtained from patients with SSc and normal volunteers. To determine the expression of JAM-A on SSc dermal fibroblasts and in SSc skin, cell surface ELISAs and immunohistology were performed. An ELISA was designed to determine the amount of soluble JAM-A (sJAM-A) in serum. Myeloid U937 cell-SSc dermal fibroblast and skin adhesion assays were performed to determine the role of JAM-A in myeloid cell adhesion.

RESULTS: The stratum granulosum and dermal endothelial cells (ECs) from distal arm SSc skin exhibited significantly decreased expression of JAM-A in comparison with normal volunteers. However, sJAM-A was increased in the serum of patients with SSc compared with normal volunteers. Conversely, JAM-A was increased on the surface of SSc compared with normal dermal fibroblasts. JAM-A accounted for a significant portion of U937 binding to SSc dermal fibroblasts. In addition, JAM-A contributed to U937 adhesion to both distal and proximal SSc skin.

CONCLUSIONS: JAM-A expression is dysregulated in SSc skin. Decreased expression of JAM-A on SSc ECs may result in a reduced response to proangiogenic basic fibroblast growth factor. Increased JAM-A expression on SSc fibroblasts may serve to retain myeloid cells, which in turn secrete angiogenic factors.

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