Intracellular tyrosine kinases as novel targets for anti-fibrotic therapy in systemic sclerosis


Tissue fibrosis is a major cause of death in SSc, but therapies that target selectively fibrosis are not yet available for routine clinical use. Recent pre-clinical studies suggest that selective tyrosine kinase inhibitors that target c-Abl, PDGF receptor or Src kinases might be promising targets for anti-fibrotic approaches. Dual inhibition of c-Abl and PDGF receptor by imatinib and nilotinib, and inhibition of Src kinases either selectively by SU6656 or in combination with c-Abl and PDGF by dasatinib exerted potent anti-fibrotic effects. Imatinib, nilotinib, dasatinib and SU6656 reduced dose-dependently the synthesis of extracellular matrix protein in human dermal fibroblasts in vitro and prevented fibrosis in the mouse model of bleomycin-induced skin fibrosis. Clinical data from patients with chronic myelogenous leukaemia suggest that imatinib, nilotinib and dasatinib are well tolerated. Based on the promising pre-clinical data, imatinib is currently evaluated in clinical trials for the treatment of fibrosis in SSc and trials with other tyrosine kinase inhibitors are in preparatio

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