Volume 34, Issue 1, March 2023

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Mediterr J Rheumatol 2023;34(1):113-6
The Role of the Akt Signaling Pathway in Sjögren's Syndrome
Authors Information

Department of Pathophysiology, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece



Primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS) is a chronic autoimmune disorder with diverse clinical picture and high prevalence of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), that possibly raises from the chronic activation of B-cells. The mechanisms underlying the development of neoplasia in pSS remain elusive. Activated Akt/mTOR pathway is a uniform finding in cancer, whereas its significance in haematologic malignancies is highlighted by the plethora of inhibitors with promising therapeutic efficacy. PI3K-Akt activation has been involved in the TLR3-induced apoptosis of cultured salivary gland epithelial cells (SGECs), whereas upregulated expression of the phosphorylated ribosomal S6 protein (pS6), an end-result of PI3K signalling, has been detected in the infiltrating T and B lymphocytes at the MSG lesions of pSS patients; nevertheless, without specifying if this was mediated by the Akt/mTOR or Ras/ERK pathways. To this end, the role of Akt/mTOR pathway in pSS and associated lymphomagenesis, will be investigated by the immunohistochemical detection of the entire and phosphorylated protein forms of Akt kinase and two of its substrates, namely the FoxO1 transcription factor and the proline-rich Akt substrate of 40-kDa (PRAS40) in MSGs of pSS patients with variable histological and clinical phenotype, as well as sicca-complaining controls. Subsequently, the role of this pathway will be evaluated in in-vitro inhibition experiments, studying the effect of specific inhibitors in the phenotype, function, and interaction of SGECs and B cells. The current proposal is expected to promote the understanding of pSS pathogenesis, enlighten the mechanisms underlying related lymphomagenesis and possible therapeutic targets.

Cite this article as: Kapsogeorgou EK, Stergiou IE, Chatzis L, Voulgarelis M, Vlachoyiannopoulos PG. The Role of the Akt Signaling Pathway in Sjögren's Syndrome. Mediterr J Rheumatol 2023;34(1):113-6.


Article Submitted: 31 Jan 2022; Article Accepted: 8 Dec 2022; Available Online: 31 Mar 2023

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