The Chemistry of Scleroderma

Introduction

YouTube Video

Scleroderma is a connective tissue disease generally classified as one of the autoimmune rheumatic disease.

The reason why I picked to research and learn about  The Chemistry of Scleroderma is because my sister is battling this disease.  We are constantly going to different places around the world to see specialized doctors for this disease.  Not many know about this rare disease so i thought it would be not only interesting, but also beneficial.


Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components

  • Naltrexone’s chemical name: morphinan-6-one, 17-(cyclopropylmethyl)-4,5- epoxy-3,14-dihydroxy-(5a)  molecular formula:  

  • molecular weight: 341.41 g


  • Nalmefene has the chemical name of 17-cyclopropylmethyl-4,5a-epoxy-6- methylenemo hinan-3,14-diol and the molecular formula of C21H25NO3 (ask Mr. Beals how to do subscripts for the formulas).

Chemistry's Role

  • studies have linked scleroderma to exposure to certain chemicals. The chemicals are epoxy resins, aromatic hydrocarbons, and vinyl chloride.  protein triggers a immune response.   The immune system speeds up cells called fibroblasts.  The fibroblasts produce too much collagen.  extra collagen is brought to various organs and tissues of the body


Background Research

Patients with scleroderma have proteins in their blood called autoantibodies. Healthy individuals also have antibodies, but they are directed at foreign microbes, thereby helping fight off infections. There is not a direct relationship between cancer and scleroderma. Scleroderma make immunne proteins or antibodies to another protein.  This protein is called RPC1. The antibodies cause  organ damage characteristic of the disease. No-one knows the reason behind this antibody.   The Johns Hopkins team showed that cancers from a majority of patients with severe scleroderma had a change in a gene called POLR3A, which codes for RPC1. These changes create a different  form of the RPC1 protein.  This new protein triggers a immune response.   It is clear that people are not able to catch this disease from or transmit it to others. The immune system speeds up cells called fibroblasts.  The fibroblasts produce too much callogen.  The collagen forms thick connective tissue.  The connective tissue then builds up in the skin and internal organs.  This can interfere with the internal organ’s functioning process.  Blood vessels and joints can also be affected. There are  factors that are believed to cause scleroderma.  Abnormal immune or inflammatory activity; which is when your body’s immune system basically turns against you instead of fighting off germs and bacteria.  Enviornmental triggers scleroderma.  Hormones also take part in this.  Women develop scleroderma more than men do.  Scientists believe that hormonal differences between men and women play a huge role.  It is very rare that Scleroderma runs in families. For every 100 families with a member who has scleroderma, only 2 families will have another family member with the disease.



Resources


About the Author

I am a junior at Billings Senior High School.  I wish to attend MSU and later become a nurse or an ER doctor! I absolutely love spending time with my family and friends.  We often go fishing, hiking, and camping.  My two favorite sports are basketball and track.  


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