Scar Wars: Is TGFβ the Phantom Menace in Scleroderma?
Arthritis Research & Therapy
The autoimmune disease scleroderma (systemic sclerosis (SSc)) is characterized by extensive tissue fibrosis, causing significant morbidity. There is no therapy for the fibrosis observed in SSc; indeed, the underlying cause of the scarring observed in this disease is unknown. Transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) has long been hypothesized to be a major contributor to pathological fibrotic diseases, including SSc. Recently, the signaling pathways through which TGFβ activates a fibrotic program have been elucidated and, as a consequence, several possible points for anti-fibrotic drug intervention in SSc have emerged.