Vascular damage and immunological events leading to generation of fibrogenic fibroblasts are the main components of systemic sclerosis (SSc) pathogenesis. Superoxide anions play a role in endothelial damage by oxidizing circulating low-density lipoproteins. IL-1 plays a key role in the pathophysiology of SSc by inducing upregulation of adhesion molecules, inflammatory damage of the endothelium and tissue fibrosis. Elevated levels of proTh2 cytokines such as IL-6 in the early stages of SSc lead to enhanced fibroblast collagen production. Taurine, a semi-essential amino acid, is an antioxidant, inhibits the production of proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-1 and IL-6 and also inhibits production of TGF-beta, a major fibrogenic cytokine. Therefore, we conclude that taurine may be a novel addition to the treatment armamentarium of this disabling disorder.
2010 IMSS. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.