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Print version ISSN 1807-5932On-line version ISSN 1980-5322


OLIVEIRA, Cristiane Carla de et al. Histomorphometric analysis of cutaneous remodeling in the early stage of the scleroderma model. Clinics [online]. 2009, vol.64, n.6, pp.577-583. ISSN 1807-5932.

INTRODUCTION/OBJECTIVES: Systemic sclerosis, or scleroderma, is a rheumatic disease characterized by autoimmunity, vasculopathy, and fibrosis of the skin and several internal organs. In the present study, our aim was to assess the skin alterations in animals with scleroderma during the first stages of disease induction. METHODS: To induce scleroderma, female New Zealand rabbits (n = 12) were subcutaneously immunized with 1 mg/ml of collagen V (Col V) in complete Freund's adjuvant, twice with a thirty-day interval. Fifteen days later, the animals received an intramuscular booster with type V collagen in incomplete Freund's adjuvant, twice with a fifteen-day interval. The control group was inoculated with 1 ml of 10 mM acetic acid solution diluted with an equal amount of Freund's adjuvant. Serial dorsal skin biopsies were performed at 7, 15, and 30 days and stained with H&E, Masson's trichrome and Picrosírius for morphological and morphometric analyses. RESULTS: Immunized rabbits presented a significant increase in collagen in skin collected seven days after the first immunization (p=0.05). CONCLUSION: The results from this experimental model may be very important to a better understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms involved in the beginning of human SSc. Therapeutic protocols to avoid early remodeling of the skin may lead to promising treatments for SSc in the future.

Keywords : Skin remodeling; Systemic sclerosis; Type V collagen; Autoimmunity; Rabbits.

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