The conference is an important forum for exchange in scientific ideas and knowledge among participants through interactive workshops, oral and poster sessions and invited lectures. Professor Josef Smolen was invited to Hong Kong ABT-199 research buy and delivered a talk on ‘New Aspects in EULAR Recommendations in the Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis’ on 24 February 2014. Other than updating the audience of the Hong Kong Society of Rheumatology on the EULAR guideline, his talk raised critical thoughts on issues including the choice between triple therapy and biologic agents and the use of biologic monotherapy
in RA patients refractory to methotrexate monotherapy. The Iraqi Society of Rheumatic Diseases Conferences was held in Erbil, Iraq during 10–12 April. This was a landmark conference as it was the first in the country after the United States occupation of Iraq in 2003. Malaysia Society of Rheumatology is celebrating its silver jubilee this year. In conjunction Dabrafenib with this, the 15th Rheumatology Workshop organized by Malaysian
Society of Rheumatology and Singapore Society of Rheumatology will be held in Kuala Lumpur on 22–24 August 2014 with the theme of Rheumatology Across Ages. “
“Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is characterized by immune abnormalities, progressive fibrosis of the skin and internal organs, and microvascular injury and damage. Interleukin-21 receptor (IL-21R) is expressed in the epidermis from patients with SSc. However, information describing the role of IL-21 in SSc is limited. We established a mouse model of bleomycin (BLM)-induced fibrosis. The frequency of CD4+IL-21+T, CD4+IL-21R+T and IL-21+Th17 cells in peripheral blood, skin and lungs of BLM-induced mice were detected by flow cytometry; IL-21 levels in the peripheral blood were evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). CD4+T
cells were isolated from the spleen of BLM-induced and control mice and cultured in vitro alone or in the presence of mrIL-21 or mrIL-21 plus transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1. The frequency of Th17 cells was detected by flow Epothilone B (EPO906, Patupilone) cytometry; levels of IL-17 were evaluated by ELISA, and the expression of IL-17A and retinoic-acid-receptor-related orphan receptors gamma t (RORγt) messenger RNA were analyzed by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Compared to control mice, the frequency of CD4+IL-21+T, CD4+21R+T and IL-21+Th17 cells and the levels of IL-21 were significantly increased in BLM-induced mice. The frequency of CD4+IL-21+T, CD4+21R+T and IL-21+Th17 cells and the levels of IL-21 were correlated with dermal and pulmonary inflammation and fibrosis. In vitro analyses indicate that IL-21 promoted the differentiation of Th17 cells from CD4+ cells isolated from the spleen of BLM-induced mice. IL-21 may play an important role in the pathogenesis of SSc as a Th17 effector cytokine, and IL-21 may induce the differentiation of Th17 cells in the BLM-induced SSc mouse model.