A recent prospective, observational cohort study of potential clinical biomarkers for progression to interstitial lung disease (ILD) in patients with early systemic sclerosis (SSc) found that higher levels of CCL2 circulating in their plasma predicted both faster ILD progression and poorer survival rates than in those with lower levels.1
Explore this issueDecember 2017
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CCL2, also known as monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, is a small cytokine belonging to the CC chemokine family. Cytokines are substances, such as interferon, interleukin and growth factors, secreted by cells in the immune system that have immunologic effects on other cells. Cytokines can be either pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory, and can be further subdivided into Th1-type and Th2-type cytokines.
The new study’s results combine two independent cohorts of patients with early SSc in Texas and Canada to examine the predictive significance of cytokines and chemokines for long-term progression of SSc-related ILD, says lead author Minghua Wu, MD, of the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston. She and colleagues in Texas measured plasma levels obtained at baseline for 11 key cytokines using a highly sensitive multiplex sandwich immunoassay.