Attenuation of Dupuytren’s fibrosis via targeting of the STAT1 modulated IL-13Rα1 response

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Science Advances  10 Jul 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 28, eaaz8272
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz8272


Fibrotic disorders represent common complex disease pathologies that are therapeutically challenging. Inflammation is associated with numerous fibrotic pathogeneses; however, its role in the multifaceted mechanisms of fibrosis remains unclear. IL-13 is implicated in aberrant responses involved in fibrotic disease, and we aimed to understand its role in the inflammatory processes of a common fibrotic disorder, Dupuytren’s disease. We demonstrated T-cells produced IFN-g, which induced IL-13 secretion from mast cells and up-regulated IL-13Ra1 on fibroblasts, rendering them more reactive to IL-13. Consequently, diseased myofibroblasts demonstrated enhanced fibroproliferative effects upon IL-13 stimulation. We established IFN-g and IL-13 responses involved STAT dependent pathways, and STAT targeting (tofacitinib) could inhibit IL-13 production from mast cells, IL-13Ra1 up-regulation in fibroblasts and fibroproliferative effects of IL-13 on diseased myofibroblasts. Accordingly, utilizing Dupuytren’s as an accessible human model of fibrosis, we propose targeting STAT pathways may offer previously unidentified therapeutic approaches in the management of fibrotic disease.

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