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International Journal of Rheumatology
Volume 2011, Article ID 275617, 6 pages
Research Article

Basal Activation of Type I Interferons (Alpha2 and Beta) and OAS Genes: Insights into Differential Expression Profiles of Interferon System Components in Systemic Sclerosis

1Laboratório de Vírus, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Avenue Antônio Carlos 6627, Pampulha 31270-901 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
2Hospital das Clínicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Avenue Alfredo Balena 110, Santa Efigênia, 30130-100 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil

Received 15 June 2011; Revised 10 August 2011; Accepted 23 August 2011

Academic Editor: Lorinda Chung

Copyright © 2011 Danilo Bretas de Oliveira et al. 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.


Objective. Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a complex autoimmune disease in which interferons (IFNs) may play an essential role. We hypothesized that type I and III IFNs may be found in increased levels in patients and be responsible for SSc autoimmune status. Methods. Type I and III IFN and ISG basal expression profiles were measured by qPCR using RNA from PBMCs of patients and controls . Results. Type I IFNs are increased in SSc patients, while no induction of type III IFNs was detected. This induction cannot be related to IRF7, since no upregulation of this gene was seen on patients. Of the ISGs tested, 25OAS levels were increased in patients, while 6–16 and MxA levels were not. Conclusions. While there is no indication of type III IFN induction, increased levels of type I IFNs may lead to abnormal regulation of ISGs that can be responsible for immune system alterations described for SSc.