This article is part of the supplement: Proceedings of Fibroproliferative disorders: from biochemical analysis to targeted therapies
Molecular targets for therapy in systemic sclerosis
Department of Rheumatology, Center of Experimental Rheumatology, University Hospital Zurich, Gloriastrasse 25, 8091 Zürich, Switzerland
Fibrogenesis & Tissue Repair 2012, 5(Suppl 1):S19 doi:10.1186/1755-1536-5-S1-S19Published: 6 June 2012
Despite significant advances have been made in the recent years regarding organ-specific therapies, there is no approved 'disease-modifying' antifibrotic drug for systemic sclerosis (SSc) available to date. Although non-selective immunosuppressive agents are routinely used to treat patients with SSc, large well-controlled studies are lacking for almost all immunosuppressive agents and further evidence is required for long-term beneficial effects of these drugs. Considering these facts about immunosuppressive agents in SSc and also considering the high mortality of SSc, other therapeutic strategies are urgently needed. Recently an important role of the 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT: serotonin) pathway in fibrosis was reported. In this review, we discuss the role of 5-HT in fibrosis and therapeutic potential of this molecule. Besides 5-HT, there are a number of promising targets that have been extensively characterized in recent years. For many of these molecular targets, modifiers are readily available for clinical studies, and often these modifiers are used already in clinical use for other diseases. Results from these studies will show, in how far the promising preclinical results for novel antifibrotic strategies can be translated to clinical practice.