Higher levels of the protein CTRP9 are associated with worse lung function in patients with systemic sclerosis-related interstitial lung disease, according to new research.

The researchers additionally concluded that low-circulating CTRP9 was linked to lung disease stability over time, indicating that the protein may be a biomarker for SSc-associated interstitial lung disease.

“There is currently a paucity of predictive biomarkers to assess disease progression of SSc-associated ILD (SSc-ILD), representing a significant unmet need in the field,” Monica M. Yang, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues wrote.

“Work from our group has demonstrated that altered adipose tissue metabolism is a hallmark of SSc, and a potential pathogenic mechanism underlying fibrosis.”

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