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International Journal of Rheumatology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 270938, 5 pages
Review Article

Vascular Changes in Bleomycin-Induced Scleroderma

1Department of Dermatology, Fukushima Medical University, Hikarigaoka 1, Fukushima 960-1295, Japan
2Department of Dermatology, Osaka University, Yamadaoka 2-2, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan

Received 6 June 2011; Revised 17 August 2011; Accepted 17 August 2011

Academic Editor: Oliver Distler

Copyright © 2011 Toshiyuki Yamamoto and Ichiro Katayama. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is characterized by vascular injury, immunological abnormalities, and fibrosis of the skin as well as various internal organs. Vascular impairment is the early manifestation and plays a fundamental role in the pathogenesis of SSc. Recent studies suggest that complex interactions among the endothelial cells, pericytes, smooth muscle cells, and fibroblasts are involved in the systemic vasculopathy in SSc, and histological feature of proliferation of vascular wall is seen in the lesional scleroderma skin at the late stage of disease. One of the most representative mouse models for scleroderma is the bleomycin-induced scleroderma; however, aspects of vascular alteration have not been described in detail so far. A number of studies have shown that bleomycin stimulates endothelial cells and fibroblasts to induce proinflammatory and fibrogenic cytokines, apoptosis, reactive oxygen species, and so on. This paper makes a focus on the vascular involvement in the bleomycin-induced murine scleroderma.