Novel disease-modifying drugs against skin fibrosis of systemic sclerosis

mana nishiguchi, Yuki Yamamoto, Masatoshi Jinnin


Systemic sclerosis (SSc) or scleroderma is an autoimmune disorder characterized by tissue fibrosis of the skin and internal organs. The etiology of the skin fibrosis is thought to be thickened dermis due to uncontrolled excessive deposition of various extracellular matrix, mainly type I collagen.

Systemic treatments with anti-inflammatory and cytotoxic immunosuppressive properties, such as corticosteroids and immunosuppressants, are usually considered for skin sclerosis of patients with SSc. However, their approach must be initiated at the early stage, before the fibrosis is completed, and the effects of the corticosteroids and immunosuppressants are known to be reduced in the late stages of the sclerosis. Furthermore, various significant adverse effects of these treatments must be considered.

This paper discusses the present day understanding of therapeutic options using disease-modifying drugs against skin sclerosis of SSc patients and the possible mechanisms.


Collagen; Scleroderma; Steroid

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