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This article is the author’s final published version in Journal of Clinical Medicine, Volume 10, Issue 20, October 2021, Article number 4791.

The published version is available at Copyright © Piera-Velazquez and Jimenez.


Numerous clinical and research investigations conducted during the last two decades have implicated excessive oxidative stress caused by high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the development of the severe and frequently progressive fibrotic process in Systemic Sclerosis (SSc). The role of excessive oxidative stress in SSc pathogenesis has been supported by the demonstration of increased levels of numerous biomarkers, indicative of cellular and molecular oxidative damage in serum, plasma, and other biological fluids from SSc patients, and by the demonstration of elevated production of ROS by various cell types involved in the SSc fibrotic process. However, the precise mechanisms mediating oxidative stress development in SSc and its pathogenetic effects have not been fully elucidated. The participation of the NADPH oxidase NOX4, has been suggested and experimentally supported by the demonstration that SSc dermal fibroblasts display constitutively increased NOX4 expression and that reduction or abrogation of NOX4 effects decreased ROS production and the expression of genes encoding fibrotic proteins. Furthermore, NOX4-stimulated ROS production may be involved in the development of certain endothelial and vascular abnormalities and may even participate in the generation of SSc-specific autoantibodies. Collectively, these observations suggest NOX4 as a novel therapeutic target for SSc.

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