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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2003 Jan-Feb;21(1):41-8.

Dual effects of caspase-1, interleukin-1 beta, tumour necrosis factor-alpha and nerve growth factor receptor in inflammatory myopathies.

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Institute of Biomedicine/Anatomy, Biomedicum Helsinki, University of Helsinki, Finland.



To analyse the expression of factors potentially involved in skeletal muscle degeneration and regeneration in dermatomyositis (DM), systemic sclerosis (SSc), polymyositis (PM), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and non-inflammatory myopathies.


Immunohistochemical staining of skeletal muscle biopsies (10 DM, 10 SSc, 10 PM, 10 SLE, 10 non-inflammatory myopathies) for tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta), activated caspase-1, pan-macrophage marker CD68, inducible nitric oxide synthase (NOS2) and nerve growth factor receptor (NGFR). TechMate staining robot and biotin-streptavidin protocol were used.


Expression of TNF-alpha, IL-1 beta, caspase-1 and NOS2 was found in the cytoplasm and sarcolemma of dystrophic skeletal muscle fibres. TNF-alpha and IL-1 beta immunoreactive profiles were faint and few and close to satellite nuclei-containing regenerating muscle fibres both in inflammatory and non-inflammatory myopathies. NGFR expression was found in comparable areas. In non-inflammatory inherited myopathies more nuclei were caspase-1 immunoreactive whereas caspase-1 expression was rarely seen in inflammatory myopathies, implying regeneration of the affected muscle fibres.


Prominent expression of the proinflammatory factors TNF-alpha, IL-1 beta and NOS2 and caspase-1 is associated with muscle fibre damage, albeit when expressed to a low degree these factors may, like NGFR, contribute to muscle regeneration and healing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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