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Arch Dermatol Res. 2007 Jul;299(4):177-89. Epub 2007 Feb 13.

Collagen V nasal tolerance in experimental model of systemic sclerosis.

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Discipline of Reumatology, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, Av. Dr. Arnaldo 455; cep-01246-903, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


Our aim was to study skin remodeling and autoantibody production in an experimental model of scleroderma (SSc), following nasal tolerance with human type V collagen (Col V). Female New Zealand rabbits (n = 12) were immunized with two doses of 1 mg/ml of Col V in complete Freund's adjuvant and additional two boosters in incomplete Freund's adjuvant to induce SSc. After 150 days, half of these immunized rabbits were submitted to type V collagen-induced tolerance receiving a daily nasal administration of 25 mug of Col V. Control animals (n = 6) were only submitted to type V collagen-induced tolerance. Serial skin biopsies were performed on days 0, 150 and 210, and stained with H&E, Masson's trichrome and Picrosirius for morphological and morphometric analysis. Types I, III and V collagen were identified by immunofluorescence. The animals' serum samples were collected to determine anti types I, III, IV and V collagen and antinuclear antibodies (ANA). Skin biopsies from immunized animals confirmed SSc morphology as previously described, such as progressive decrease of papillary dermis, appendages atrophy, increased type I, III and V collagen deposition. Rabbits with Col V-induced nasal tolerance showed reduction of skin involvement, with significant decrease of collagen amount. Humoral immune response did not change with nasal tolerance. Collagen V nasal tolerance promotes regression of skin remodeling process in an experimental model of SSc. We suggest that nasal tolerance with type V collagen can be a promising therapeutic option to treat scleroderma patients.

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