Fibrosis Development in HOCl-Induced Systemic Sclerosis: A Multistage Process Hampered by Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Abstract : Objectives: Skin fibrosis is the hallmark of systemic sclerosis (SSc) a rare intractable disease with unmet medical need. We previously reported the anti-fibrotic potential of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in a murine model of SSc. This model, based on daily intra-dermal injections of hypochlorite (HOCl) during 6 weeks, is an inducible model of the disease. Herein, we aimed at characterizing the development of skin fibrosis in HOCl-induced SSc (HOCl-SSc), and evaluating the impact of MSC infusion during the fibrogenesis process. Methods: After HOCl-SSc induction in BALB/c mice, clinical, histological and biological parameters were measured after 3 weeks (d21) and 6 weeks (d42) of HOCl challenge, and 3 weeks after HOCl discontinuation (d63). Treated-mice received infusions of 2.5 × 105 MSCs 3 weeks before sacrifice (d0, d21, d42). Results: HOCl injections induced a two-step process of fibrosis development: first, an 'early inflammatory phase', characterized at d21 by highly proliferative infiltrates of myofibroblasts, T-lymphocytes and macrophages. Second, a phase of 'established matrix fibrosis', characterized at d42 by less inflammation, but strong collagen deposition and followed by a third phase of 'spontaneous tissue remodeling' after HOCl discontinuation. This phase was characterized by partial fibrosis receding, due to enhanced MMP1/TIMP1 balance. MSC treatment reduced skin thickness in the three phases of fibrogenesis, exerting more specialized mechanisms: immunosuppression, abrogation of myofibroblast activation, or further enhancing tissue remodeling, depending on the injection time-point. Conclusion: HOCl-SSc mimics three fibrotic phenotypes of scleroderma, all positively impacted by MSC therapy, demonstrating the great plasticity of MSC, a promising cure for SSc.
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Soumis le : mercredi 9 octobre 2019 - 17:02:51
Dernière modification le : jeudi 10 octobre 2019 - 14:58:06

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Alexandre Maria, Karine Toupet, Marie Maumus, Pauline Rozier, Marie-Catherine Vozenin, et al.. Fibrosis Development in HOCl-Induced Systemic Sclerosis: A Multistage Process Hampered by Mesenchymal Stem Cells. Frontiers in Immunology, Frontiers, 2018, 9, pp.2571. ⟨10.3389/fimmu.2018.02571⟩. ⟨hal-02309956⟩

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