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Open Access Research article

Iloprost modulates the immune response in systemic sclerosis

Patrizia D'Amelio1*, Maria A Cristofaro1, Lucia D'Amico2, Luciana Veneziano1, Ilaria Roato2, Francesca Sassi1, Giuseppina Bisignano1, Marta Saracco3, Raffaele Pellerito3, Salvatore Patanè2, Riccardo Ferracini24, Gian P Pescarmona25 and Giovanni C Isaia1

Author Affiliations

1 Gerontology Section, Department of Surgical and Medical Disciplines, University of Torino, Italy

2 CeRMS (Center for Research and Medical Studies), A.O.U. San Giovanni Battista, Torino, Italy

3 Division of rheumatology "Ordine Mauriziano" Hospital, Torino, Italy

4 Department of Orthopaedics, A.O.U. San Giovanni Battista, Torino, Italy

5 Department of Genetics, Biology and Biochemistry - University of Torino, Torino, Italy

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BMC Immunology 2010, 11:62  doi:10.1186/1471-2172-11-62

Published: 15 December 2010

Abstract

Background

Iloprost has been suggested to possess anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating actions and it is widely use as a vasodilatator in systemic sclerosis (SSc). In this study we evaluate the effect of iloprost on immune response in SSc patients. To this extend we enrolled 15 women affected by SSc and infused iloprost for 5 days. The effect of iloprost on T cells and monocytes was measured by flow cytometry, Real time PCR and measuring cytokines production in vivo and in vitro by ELISA.

Results

Our results demonstrate that Iloprost reduces T cell and TNF alpha production both in vivo and in vitro. It reduces T regulatory cells number, but increases their activity after immune stimulation. It increases serum IL-2 and this increase persists 28 days after the last infusion, also RANKL was increased both in vivo and in vitro. We observed no effect on IFN gamma production.

Conclusions

These results suggest that iloprost has anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating effects, reducing TNF alpha production by T cells and the number of T regulatory cells and increasing IL-2 and RANKL.