Salivary gland expression level of IκBα regulatory protein in Sjögren’s syndrome
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Diagnosis and therapeutic strategies in Sjögren’s syndrome (SS) might greatly benefit of the present multidisciplinary approach to studying the molecular pathogenesis of the disease. A deregulated inflammatory response has been described in the SS. The research in the last years sheds light on the importance of the NF-κB pathway regulating the pro-inflammatory cytokine production and leukocyte recruitment. These are important contributors to the inflammatory response during the development of SS. In this study we examine the expression of the NF-κB inhibitory protein termed IκBα in salivary glands epithelial cells (SGEC) comparing it with SGEC from healthy controls, to test the hypothesis that an altered expression of IκBα occurs in SGEC from SS biopsies. Real-Time PCR, western blot and immunohistochemistry demonstrated that the expression level of IκBα was significantly lower in SS with respect to healthy controls leading to an increased NF-κB activity. Our results suggest that the analysis of IκBα expression at salivary gland epithelial cell level could be a potential new hallmark of SS progression and sustain a rationale to more deeply investigate the therapeutic potential of specific NF-κB inhibitors in SS.
KeywordsNF-κB Sjögren’s syndrome IκBα Inflammation Autoimmunity
We are grateful to M.V.C. Pragnell, B.A., for critical reading of the manuscript.
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