Early expression of E-selectin, tumor necrosis factor alpha, and mast cell infiltration in the salivary glands of patients with systemic sclerosis

Arthritis Rheum. 1996 Jul;39(7):1161-5. doi: 10.1002/art.1780390713.


Objective: To assess the predictive value of early endothelial E-selectin and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha) expression, as well as mast cell infiltration, in the subsequent progression to systemic sclerosis (SSc) in patients with Raynaud's phenomenon (RP) and abnormal nailfold capillaroscopic findings.

Methods: Clinical criteria were evaluated, and immunostaining was performed on lip biopsy samples from 22 patients with RP and abnormal capillaroscopic results. None of these patients initially fulfilled the American College of Rheumatology criteria for SSc.

Results: E-selectin, TNF alpha, and mast cell infiltration were found in 9, 10, and 8 of 11 patients, respectively, whose disease progressed to SSc, and in 0, 2, and 1 of 11 patients, respectively, whose disease did not progress to SSc (P < 0.001, P < 0.01, and P < 0.01, respectively).

Conclusion: E-selectin, TNF alpha, and mast cell infiltration are detectable in the very early stages of SSc, prior to the onset of skin changes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Capillaries / abnormalities
  • Cell Movement*
  • Disease Progression
  • E-Selectin / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mast Cells / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nails / blood supply
  • Raynaud Disease / metabolism*
  • Salivary Glands / metabolism*
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / complications
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / metabolism*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism*


  • E-Selectin
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha