AIM OF THE STUDY: To further elucidate the pathogenesis of systemic sclerosis (SSc) an experimental avian model was used. University of California at Davies line 200-chicken (UCD-200) spontaneously develops a SSc like disease that has most features of human SSc with vascular effects, inflammation, autoimmunity and fibrosis. The first signs of disease in UCD-200 are swelling and ischemic lesions of the comb, a tissue containing high amounts of the glycosaminoglycan hyaluronan. The aim was to evaluate inflammatory and fibrotic processes of the disease with regard to the molecular weight of hyaluronan.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Comb biopsies from UCD-200 and healthy White Leghorn (WL) chickens as controls at different ages were studied with histochemical localization of hyaluronan, hyaluronidase 1, CD3, IgY and collagen I and III. Hyaluronan molecular weight distribution was estimated with gas phase electrophoretic analysis.
RESULTS: At 2 days of age hyaluronan was visualized in UCD-200 at the dermal part of the comb with no simultaneous staining of Hyal-1. In adult UCD-200 the comb skin was almost totally devoid of hyaluronan compared to WL of the same age. An increase of low molecular weight (LMW) hyaluronan was detected in comb tissue from UCD-200 at 1 day, 1, 2, 4 weeks in contrast to adult animals.
CONCLUSIONS: An early inflammatory process involving LMW hyaluronan was confirmed as a possible profibrotic process. This indicates that hyaluronan might be an important participant in early inflammatory events of SSc in UCD-200 chicken and that disappearance of hyaluronan in skin predisposes to fibrosis.
2016. Vol. 57, no 5, 337-346 p.