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Helena Elvén Eriksson

Teaching staff

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Paquinimod reduces skin fibrosis in tight skin 1 mice, an experimental model of systemic sclerosis


  • Martin Stenström
  • Helén Carlsson Nyhlén
  • Marie Törngren
  • David Liberg
  • Birgitta Sparre
  • Helén Tuvesson
  • Helena Eriksson
  • Tomas Leanderson

Summary, in English

Background: Systemic Sclerosis (SSc) is an autoimmune disease characterized by vascular and immune dysfunction. A hallmark of SSc is the excessive accumulation of extracellular matrix in the skin and in internal organs. There is a high and unmet medical need for novel therapies in this disease. The pathogenesis of SSc is complex and still poorly understood, but the innate immune system has emerged as an important factor in the disease. SSc patients show increased numbers of macrophages/monocytes in the blood and in the skin compared to healthy individuals and these cells are important sources of profibrotic cytokines and chemokines. Paquinimod belongs to a class of orally active quinoline-3-carboxamide (quinoline) derivatives with immunomodulatory properties and has shown effects in several models of autoimmune/inflammatory disorders. Paquinimod is currently in clinical development for treatment of SSc. The immunomodulatory effects of paquinimod is by targeting the myeloid cell compartment via the S100A9 protein. Objective: In this study we investigate whether targeting of myeloid cells by paquinimod can effect disease development in an experimental model of SSc, the tight skin 1 (Tsk-1) mouse model. Methods: Seven weeks old female B6.Cg-Fbn1Tsk/J (Tsk-1) mice were treated with vehicle or paquinimod at the dose of 5 or 25 mg/kg/day in the drinking water for 8 weeks. The effect of paquinimod on the level of skin fibrosis and on different subpopulations within the myeloid cell compartment in skin biopsies were evaluated by using histology, immunohistochemisty, a hydroxyproline assay and real-time PCR. Furthermore, the level of IgG in serum from treated animals was also analysed. The statistical analyses were performed using Mann-Whitney nonparametric two tailed rank test. Results: The results show that treatment with paquinimod reduces skin fibrosis measured as reduction of skin thickness and decreased number of myofibroblasts and total hydroxyproline content. The effect on fibrosis was associated with a polarization of macrophages in the skin from a pro-fibrotic M2 to a M1 phenotype. Paquinimod treatment also resulted in a reduced TGFβ-response in the skin and an abrogation of the increased auto-antibody production in this SSc model. Conclusions: Paquinimod reduces skin fibrosis in an experimental model of SSc, and this effect correlates with local and systemic effects on the immune system.


  • Immunology

Publishing year







Journal of Dermatological Science





Document type

Journal article




  • Dermatology and Venereal Diseases


  • M2 macrophages
  • Myofibroblasts
  • Paquinimod
  • Skin fibrosis
  • Systemic sclerosis
  • Tight skin 1 mice



Research group

  • Immunology


  • ISSN: 0923-1811