Methods in Molecular Biology Volume 900, 2012, pp 317-326

Modeling Innate Immunity in Murine Skin: Utilization of Subcutaneous Osmotic Pumps for Inflammatory and Fibrotic Skin Disease

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Abstract

Current models for systemic sclerosis have many limitations for mimicking human disease. We have recently described a novel model based on chronic stimulation of skin by poly(I:C), a form of double-stranded RNA known to stimulate innate immune responses. This model shows inflammation and extracellular matrix deposition, and upregulated expression of genes associated with fibrosis and vascular injury. We detail here the methodology for this model, utilizing osmotic pumps to deliver innate immune stimuli to subcutaneous tissue. Subcutaneous osmotic pumps provide a flexible system for studying innate immunity in the skin as well as the affects of other ligands on skin inflammation and fibrosis.