Targeting platelet-neutrophil axis: a novel therapeutic approach for Scleroderma
Scleroderma or Systemic Sclerosis (SSc) is an autoimmune disease characterized by progressive fibrosis of skin and multiple internal organs and prominent and often severe alterations in the microvasculature. Although SSc is the third most common systemic inflammatory autoimmune disease, there is currently no effective disease-modifying therapy for SSc. The overall objective of this project is to develop a novel therapeutic approach for SSc via the modulation of autophagy levels in disease-causing neutrophils. Recently it has been shown that that activated platelets from SSc patients produced microparticles and these SSc-microparticles induced neutrophil activation through autophagy. In this research we propose the interruption of this platelet-neutrophil axis via the modulation of autophagy and monitor its effects in the prevention of SSc disease pathogenesis and endothelial damage and. Therefore, the proposed research will shed light on the development of novel therapy for SSc.