Partially Evoked Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) Is Associated with Increased TGFβ Signaling within Lesional Scleroderma Skin

Author: Joanna Nikitorowicz-Buniak, Christopher P. Denton, David Abraham, Richard Stratton
Date Published: July-2015
Source: PLoS One

The origin of myofibroblasts in fibrotic conditions remains unknown and in systemic sclerosis (SSc) it has been proposed that activation of local fibroblasts, trans-differentiation of perivascular or vascular cells, recruitment of fibrocyte progenitors, or epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) could be contributing. Data from our laboratory indicate that the epidermis in scleroderma is activated with the keratinocytes exhibiting a phenotype normally associated with tissue repair, including phosphorylation profiles indicative of TGFβ signaling. Since TGFβ is a known inducer of EMT, we investigated if there is evidence of this process in the SSc epidermis. In order to validate antibodies and primers, EMT was modeled in HaCaT cells cultured in the presence of TGFβ1.