Table of Contents
ISRN Dermatology
Volume 2013, Article ID 125632, 4 pages
Research Article

Endothelin-1 Levels in Scleroderma Patients: A Pilot Study

DISSAL, Section of Dermatology, IRCCS University Hospital San Martino-IST, 16132 Genoa, Italy

Received 28 May 2013; Accepted 10 July 2013

Academic Editors: S. Husz, E. Pasmatzi, P. D. Shenefelt, and Y. Tuzun

Copyright © 2013 Emanuele Cozzani 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.


Endothelin-1 (ET-1) is a potent endogenous vasoconstrictor, which mediates vascular wall cells proliferation, fibrosis, and inflammation through two types of ET-1 receptors (ET-A and ET-B). In our retrospective study the serum levels of ET-1 in 18 systemic sclerosis (SSc) patients with and without digital ulcers (DUs) were assessed to observe possible correlation between the levels of ET-1, the evolution of SSc, and the therapy with an ET-1 antagonist (bosentan). In all our patients, the levels of ET-1 were found higher than normal range and correlate with the severity of the disease. Furthermore we also observed that in patients without DUs the levels of ET-1 were higher and did not correlate with new DUs development. In conclusion, the levels of ET-1 in our studied patients do not correlate with the possible development of DUs. The reduction of ET-1 levels in DUs patients in therapy with bosentan confirms the efficacy of this molecule both for treatment and prevention of digital ulcers. The inhibition of ET-A receptor by its antagonist may activate the opposite ET-B receptors, with well-known function ET-1 degradation and reducing of ET-1 serum level as confirmed in our pilot study.