Tamibarotene Ameliorates Bleomycin-Induced Dermal Fibrosis by Modulating Phenotypes of Fibroblasts, Endothelial Cells, and Immune Cells

Tetsuo Toyama, Yoshihide Asano, Kaname Akamata, Shinji Noda, Takashi Taniguchi, Takehiro Takahashi, Yohei Ichimura, Koichi Shudo, Shinichi Sato, Takafumi Kadono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Tamibarotene (Am80) is a synthetic retinoid that modulates the pathologic processes of various autoimmune and inflammatory diseases and their animal models. We here investigated the therapeutic potential of Am80 against systemic sclerosis using its animal models. Am80 significantly attenuated dermal and hypodermal fibrosis in bleomycin (BLM)-treated mice and tight skin 1 mice, respectively. Consistently, Am80 significantly suppressed the expression of various molecules related to tissue fibrosis, including transforming growth factor-β1, connective tissue growth factor, IL-4, IL-10, IL-13, IL-17A, tumor necrosis factor-α, IFN-γ, and monocyte chemotactic protein 1 in the lesional skin of BLM-treated mice. Furthermore, Am80 decreased the proportion of effector T cells, while increasing that of naïve T cells among CD4+ T cells in the draining lymph nodes of BLM-treated mice. Moreover, a series of BLM-induced pathologic events, including endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition; ICAM-1 expression in endothelial cells; the infiltration of macrophages, mast cells, and lymphocytes; and M2 macrophage differentiation, were attenuated by Am80. Importantly, Am80 directly reversed the profibrotic phenotype of transforming growth factor-β1-treated dermal fibroblasts, suppressed ICAM-1 expression in endothelial cells, and promoted M1 macrophage differentiation in vitro. Collectively, Am80 inhibits the development of experimental dermal fibrosis by reversing the profibrotic phenotype of various cell types and would be a candidate for therapeutic drugs against dermal fibrosis of systemic sclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-398
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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