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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Is serum procalcitonin measurement a useful addition to a rheumatologist's repertoire? A review of its diagnostic role in systemic inflammatory diseases and joint infections.
Rheumatology (Oxford)
PUBLISHED: 10-29-2014
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Early differentiation between infection and aseptic inflammation is difficult and is a challenge often faced in the rheumatology practice. Procalcitonin (PCT) is a biomarker that is preferentially induced in patients with bacterial infections, and a growing body of evidence supports its use for improving diagnosis of bacterial infections and guiding antibiotic therapy. In this article, we review the evidence for the use of PCT measurement in rheumatology practice. Several studies have examined the use of PCT to assist in the differentiation between septic and non-septic arthritis in patients with an inflamed joint and found it to be a sensitive and specific marker of infection. A number of studies in patients with diverse inflammatory rheumatic diseases have provided useful information regarding the usefulness of PCT in these patients. In summary, PCT when used in the appropriate clinical setting can be a useful adjunct to currently available laboratory infection markers, though further studies are warranted. Furthermore, PCT results should be interpreted in parallel with the clinical assessment.
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Glucocorticoids in early rheumatoid arthritis: are the benefits of joint-sparing effects offset by the adverse effect of osteoporosis? the effects on bone in the utrecht study and the CAMERA-II study.
Neuroimmunomodulation
PUBLISHED: 09-12-2014
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This paper reviews the clinical effects on bone of 10 mg of prednisone daily in early rheumatoid arthritis, given for 2 years in the Utrecht Study and in the second CAMERA (Computer- Assisted Management in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis) Study, and addresses the question whether there were joint-sparing effects and whether these were offset by adverse effects, especially osteoporosis. We conclude that a 2-year adjunct treatment with 10 mg of prednisone daily increases the benefits of disease-modifying antirheumatic drug therapy and has joint-sparing properties, even if added to the tight control methotrexate-based strategy aiming for remission. Importantly, with good control of inflammation and adequate use of calcium, vitamin D and bisphosphonates - according to national or international guidelines - steroid-induced osteoporosis is rare over 2 years.
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Multicriteria decision analysis methods with 1000Minds for developing systemic sclerosis classification criteria.
J Clin Epidemiol
PUBLISHED: 04-08-2014
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Classification criteria for systemic sclerosis (SSc) are being developed. The objectives were to develop an instrument for collating case data and evaluate its sensibility; use forced-choice methods to reduce and weight criteria; and explore agreement among experts on the probability that cases were classified as SSc.
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Interleukin-6 (IL-6) trans signaling drives a STAT3-dependent pathway that leads to hyperactive transforming growth factor-? (TGF-?) signaling promoting SMAD3 activation and fibrosis via Gremlin protein.
J. Biol. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 02-18-2014
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Fibrosis is a common and intractable condition associated with various pathologies. It is characterized by accumulation of an excessive amount of extracellular matrix molecules that primarily include collagen type I. IL-6 is a profibrotic cytokine that is elevated in the prototypic fibrotic autoimmune condition systemic sclerosis and is known to induce collagen I expression, but the mechanism(s) behind this induction are currently unknown. Using healthy dermal fibroblasts in vitro, we analyzed the signaling pathways that underscore the IL-6-mediated induction of collagen. We show that IL-6 trans signaling is important and that the effect is dependent on STAT3; however, the effect is indirect and mediated through enhanced TGF-? signaling and the classic downstream cellular mediator Smad3. This is due to induction of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) antagonist Gremlin-1, and we show that Gremlin-1 is profibrotic and is mediated through canonical TGF-? signaling.
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Effects and safety of rituximab in systemic sclerosis: an analysis from the European Scleroderma Trial and Research (EUSTAR) group.
Ann. Rheum. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 01-21-2014
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To assess the effects of Rituximab (RTX) on skin and lung fibrosis in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc) belonging to the European Scleroderma Trial and Research (EUSTAR) cohort and using a nested case-control design.
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Serum amyloid A induces interleukin-6 in dermal fibroblasts via Toll-like receptor 2, interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 4 and nuclear factor-?B.
Immunology
PUBLISHED: 01-17-2014
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Systemic sclerosis is an autoimmune idiopathic connective tissue disease, characterized by vasculopathy, inflammation and fibrosis. There appears to be a link between inflammation and fibrosis, although the exact nature of the relationship is unknown. Serum amyloid A (SAA) is an acute-phase protein that is elevated up to 1000-fold in times of infection or inflammation. This acute-phase reactant, as well as being a marker of inflammation, may initiate signals in a cytokine-like manner, possibly through toll-like receptors (TLRs) promoting inflammation. This study addressed the role of SAA in initiating interleukin-6 (IL-6) production in dermal fibroblasts and the role of TLR2 in this system. We show that SAA induces IL-6 secretion in healthy dermal fibroblasts and that blockade of TLR2 with a neutralizing antibody to TLR2 or specific small interfering RNA attenuated the SAA-induced IL-6 secretion and that this was also mediated through the TLR adaptor protein IL-1 receptor-associated kinase 4. The effect is nuclear factor-?B-mediated because blockade of nuclear factor-?B reduced the induction. We also demonstrate that dermal fibroblasts express TLR2; this is functional and over-expressed in the fibroblasts of patients with systemic sclerosis. Taken together these data suggest that SAA is a danger signal that initiates IL-6 signalling in systemic sclerosis via enhanced TLR2 signalling.
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A genome-wide association study follow-up suggests a possible role for PPARG in systemic sclerosis susceptibility.
Arthritis Res. Ther.
PUBLISHED: 01-09-2014
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A recent genome-wide association study (GWAS) comprising a French cohort of systemic sclerosis (SSc) reported several non-HLA single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) showing a nominal association in the discovery phase. We aimed to identify previously overlooked susceptibility variants by using a follow-up strategy.
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Immunochip analysis identifies multiple susceptibility loci for systemic sclerosis.
Am. J. Hum. Genet.
PUBLISHED: 01-07-2014
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In this study, 1,833 systemic sclerosis (SSc) cases and 3,466 controls were genotyped with the Immunochip array. Classical alleles, amino acid residues, and SNPs across the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) region were imputed and tested. These analyses resulted in a model composed of six polymorphic amino acid positions and seven SNPs that explained the observed significant associations in the region. In addition, a replication step comprising 4,017 SSc cases and 5,935 controls was carried out for several selected non-HLA variants, reaching a total of 5,850 cases and 9,401 controls of European ancestry. Following this strategy, we identified and validated three SSc risk loci, including DNASE1L3 at 3p14, the SCHIP1-IL12A locus at 3q25, and ATG5 at 6q21, as well as a suggested association of the TREH-DDX6 locus at 11q23. The associations of several previously reported SSc risk loci were validated and further refined, and the observed peak of association in PXK was related to DNASE1L3. Our study has increased the number of known genetic associations with SSc, provided further insight into the pleiotropic effects of shared autoimmune risk factors, and highlighted the power of dense mapping for detecting previously overlooked susceptibility loci.
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Stem cell transplantation in systemic sclerosis.
Curr Opin Rheumatol
PUBLISHED: 09-20-2013
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The purpose of this review is to discuss recent published clinical and mechanistic studies on stem cell transplantation for systemic sclerosis and their implications for clinical practice.
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Anti-interleukin-17A monoclonal antibody secukinumab in treatment of ankylosing spondylitis: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
Lancet
PUBLISHED: 09-13-2013
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Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic immune-mediated inflammatory disease characterised by spinal inflammation, progressive spinal rigidity, and peripheral arthritis. Interleukin 17 (IL-17) is thought to be a key inflammatory cytokine in the development of ankylosing spondylitis, the prototypical form of spondyloarthritis. We assessed the efficacy and safety of the anti-IL-17A monoclonal antibody secukinumab in treating patients with active ankylosing spondylitis.
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Role of toll-like receptors in systemic sclerosis.
Expert Rev Mol Med
PUBLISHED: 08-30-2013
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Accumulative evidence demonstrates the crucial role of evolutionary conserved Toll-like receptors (TLRs) in identifying microbial or viral compounds. TLRs are also able to recognise endogenous molecules which are released upon cell damage or stress and have been shown to play a key role in numerous autoimmune diseases including systemic sclerosis (SSc). A classic feature of SSc, is vascular injury manifested as Raynauds phenomenon and ischaemia of the skin, resulting in the release of endogenous TLR ligands during inflammation and local tissue damage. These locally released TLR ligands bind TLRs possibly complexed to autoantibodies, and initiate intracellular signalling pathways and may be one of the mechanisms that initiate and drive autoimmunity and subsequent fibrosis. Activation of the immune system results in interferon (IFN) sensitive gene transcription. There is also an IFN gene signature in SSc peripheral blood. TLRs may represent the link between immune activation, common in SSc, and tissue fibrosis. Therefore, a better understanding of the mechanisms of TLR-mediated pathogenesis and therapies targeting individual TLRs, may provide a more specific approach of treating multi-systemic autoimmune diseases. This review aims to integrate the current knowledge of TLR function in the autoimmune disorders with particular emphasis on SSc. We suggest the TLR system as a new therapeutic target.
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A systemic sclerosis and systemic lupus erythematosus pan-meta-GWAS reveals new shared susceptibility loci.
Hum. Mol. Genet.
PUBLISHED: 06-04-2013
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Systemic sclerosis (SSc) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are two archetypal systemic autoimmune diseases which have been shown to share multiple genetic susceptibility loci. In order to gain insight into the genetic basis of these diseases, we performed a pan-meta-analysis of two genome-wide association studies (GWASs) together with a replication stage including additional SSc and SLE cohorts. This increased the sample size to a total of 21,109 (6835 cases and 14,274 controls). We selected for replication 19 SNPs from the GWAS data. We were able to validate KIAA0319L (P = 3.31 × 10(-11), OR = 1.49) as novel susceptibility loci for SSc and SLE. Furthermore, we also determined that the previously described SLE susceptibility loci PXK (P = 3.27 × 10(-11), OR = 1.20) and JAZF1 (P = 1.11 × 10(-8), OR = 1.13) are shared with SSc. Supporting these new discoveries, we observed that KIAA0319L was overexpressed in peripheral blood cells of SSc and SLE patients compared with healthy controls. With these, we add three (KIAA0319L, PXK and JAZF1) and one (KIAA0319L) new susceptibility loci for SSc and SLE, respectively, increasing significantly the knowledge of the genetic basis of autoimmunity.
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Tumor necrosis factor-costimulated T lymphocytes from patients with systemic sclerosis trigger collagen production in fibroblasts.
Arthritis Rheum.
PUBLISHED: 04-12-2013
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The role of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in systemic sclerosis (SSc) remains controversial. The present study was undertaken to investigate the influence of TNF receptor (TNFR)-costimulated lymphocytes on collagen expression in fibroblasts.
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Update on stem cell transplantation for systemic sclerosis: recent trial results.
Curr Rheumatol Rep
PUBLISHED: 03-22-2013
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Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a heterogeneous condition characterized by the deposition of excess collagen in skin and internal organs due to vasculopathy, immune activation, low grade inflammation, and fibrosis. Progressive diffuse cutaneous SSc with organ involvement has a poor prognosis. The employment of autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) as a means to escalate immunosuppressive therapy has resulted in rapid and sustained improvement of skin thickening and functional ability, stabilization of major organ function with some improvement of vital capacity in pilot studies, registry analyses, and the phase II ASSIST trial. Results from the phase III ASTIS trial corroborate these findings and show long-term survival benefit of HSCT. The ASTIS and SCOT trials will determine whether the benefits of HSCT outweigh the risks of serious adverse events including treatment-related mortality of around 6-10% and potential long-term complications. Better patient selection and safer transplant regimens may improve the outcome of HSCT for SSc.
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New insight on the Xq28 association with systemic sclerosis.
Ann. Rheum. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 02-26-2013
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To evaluate whether the systemic sclerosis (SSc)-associated IRAK1 non-synonymous single-nucleotide polymorphism rs1059702 is responsible for the Xq28 association with SSc or whether there are other independent signals in the nearby methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 gene (MECP2).
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The clinical utility of bone marker measurements in osteoporosis.
J Transl Med
PUBLISHED: 02-11-2013
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Osteoporosis is characterised by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue, resulting in increased fragility and susceptibility to fracture. Osteoporotic fractures are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Direct medical costs from such fractures in the UK are currently estimated at over two billion pounds per year, resulting in a substantial healthcare burden that is expected to rise exponentially due to increasing life expectancy. Currently bone mineral density is the WHO standard for diagnosis of osteoporosis, but poor sensitivity means that potential fractures will be missed if it is used alone. During the past decade considerable progress has been made in the identification and characterisation of specific biomarkers to aid the management of metabolic bone disease. Technological developments have greatly enhanced assay performance producing reliable, rapid, non-invasive cost effective assays with improved sensitivity and specificity. We now have a greater understanding of the need to regulate pre-analytical sample collection to minimise the effects of biological variation. However, bone turnover markers (BTMs) still have limited clinical utility. It is not routinely recommended to use BTMs to select those at risk of fractures, but baseline measurements of resorption markers are useful before commencement of anti-resorptive treatment and can be checked 3-6 months later to monitor response and adherence to treatment. Similarly, formation markers can be used to monitor bone forming agents. BTMs may also be useful when monitoring patients during treatment holidays and aid in the decision as to when therapy should be recommenced. Recent recommendations by the Bone Marker Standards Working Group propose to standardise research and include a specific marker of bone resorption (CTX) and bone formation (P1NP) in all future studies. It is hoped that improved research in turn will lead to optimised markers for the clinical management of osteoporosis and other bone diseases.
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The c-Rel subunit of NF-?B regulates epidermal homeostasis and promotes skin fibrosis in mice.
Am. J. Pathol.
PUBLISHED: 02-11-2013
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The five subunits of transcription factor NF-?B have distinct biological functions. NF-?B signaling is important for skin homeostasis and aging, but the contribution of individual subunits to normal skin biology and disease is unclear. Immunohistochemical analysis of the p50 and c-Rel subunits within lesional psoriatic and systemic sclerosis skin revealed abnormal epidermal expression patterns, compared with healthy skin, but RelA distribution was unaltered. The skin of Nfkb1(-/-) and c-Rel(-/-) mice is structurally normal, but epidermal thickness and proliferation are significantly reduced, compared with wild-type mice. We show that the primary defect in both Nfkb1(-/-) and c-Rel(-/-) mice is within keratinocytes that display reduced proliferation both in vitro and in vivo. However, both genotypes can respond to proliferative stress, with 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate-induced epidermal hyperproliferation and closure rates of full-thickness skin wounds being equivalent to those of wild-type controls. In a model of bleomycin-induced skin fibrosis, Nfkb1(-/-) and c-Rel(-/-) mice displayed opposite phenotypes, with c-Rel(-/-) mice being protected and Nfkb1(-/-) developing more fibrosis than wild-type mice. Taken together, our data reveal a role for p50 and c-Rel in regulating epidermal proliferation and homeostasis and a profibrogenic role for c-Rel in the skin, and identify a link between epidermal c-Rel expression and systemic sclerosis. Modulating the actions of these subunits could be beneficial for treating hyperproliferative or fibrogenic diseases of the skin.
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The systemic lupus erythematosus IRF5 risk haplotype is associated with systemic sclerosis.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-23-2013
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Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a fibrotic autoimmune disease in which the genetic component plays an important role. One of the strongest SSc association signals outside the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) region corresponds to interferon (IFN) regulatory factor 5 (IRF5), a major regulator of the type I IFN pathway. In this study we aimed to evaluate whether three different haplotypic blocks within this locus, which have been shown to alter the protein function influencing systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) susceptibility, are involved in SSc susceptibility and clinical phenotypes. For that purpose, we genotyped one representative single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) of each block (rs10488631, rs2004640, and rs4728142) in a total of 3,361 SSc patients and 4,012 unaffected controls of Caucasian origin from Spain, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy and United Kingdom. A meta-analysis of the allele frequencies was performed to analyse the overall effect of these IRF5 genetic variants on SSc. Allelic combination and dependency tests were also carried out. The three SNPs showed strong associations with the global disease (rs4728142: P ?=?1.34×10(-8), OR ?=?1.22, CI 95% ?=?1.14-1.30; rs2004640: P ?=?4.60×10(-7), OR ?=?0.84, CI 95% ?=?0.78-0.90; rs10488631: P ?=?7.53×10(-20), OR ?=?1.63, CI 95% ?=?1.47-1.81). However, the association of rs2004640 with SSc was not independent of rs4728142 (conditioned P ?=?0.598). The haplotype containing the risk alleles (rs4728142*A-rs2004640*T-rs10488631*C: P ?=?9.04×10(-22), OR ?=?1.75, CI 95% ?=?1.56-1.97) better explained the observed association (likelihood P-value ?=?1.48×10(-4)), suggesting an additive effect of the three haplotypic blocks. No statistical significance was observed in the comparisons amongst SSc patients with and without the main clinical characteristics. Our data clearly indicate that the SLE risk haplotype also influences SSc predisposition, and that this association is not sub-phenotype-specific.
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Inhibition of RelA-Ser536 phosphorylation by a competing peptide reduces mouse liver fibrosis without blocking the innate immune response.
Hepatology
PUBLISHED: 01-08-2013
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Phosphorylation of the RelA subunit at serine 536 (RelA-P-Ser536) is important for hepatic myofibroblast survival and is mechanistically implicated in liver fibrosis. Here, we show that a cell-permeable competing peptide (P6) functions as a specific targeted inhibitor of RelA-P-Ser536 in vivo and exerts an antifibrogenic effect in two progressive liver disease models, but does not impair hepatic inflammation or innate immune responses after lipopolysaccharide challenge. Using kinase assays and western blotting, we confirm that P6 is a substrate for the inhibitory kappa B kinases (IKKs), IKK? and IKK?, and, in human hepatic myofibroblasts, P6 prevents RelA-P-Ser536, but does not affect IKK activation of I?B?. We demonstrate that RelA-P-Ser536 is a feature of human lung and skin fibroblasts, but not lung epithelial cells, in vitro and is present in sclerotic skin and diseased lungs of patients suffering from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
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A GWAS follow-up study reveals the association of the IL12RB2 gene with systemic sclerosis in Caucasian populations.
Hum. Mol. Genet.
PUBLISHED: 11-10-2011
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A single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) at the IL12RB2 locus showed a suggestive association signal in a previously published genome-wide association study (GWAS) in systemic sclerosis (SSc). Aiming to reveal the possible implication of the IL12RB2 gene in SSc, we conducted a follow-up study of this locus in different Caucasian cohorts. We analyzed 10 GWAS-genotyped SNPs in the IL12RB2 region (2309 SSc patients and 5161 controls). We then selected three SNPs (rs3790567, rs3790566 and rs924080) based on their significance level in the GWAS, for follow-up in an independent European cohort comprising 3344 SSc and 3848 controls. The most-associated SNP (rs3790567) was further tested in an independent cohort comprising 597 SSc patients and 1139 controls from the USA. After conditional logistic regression analysis of the GWAS data, we selected rs3790567 [P(MH)= 1.92 × 10(-5) odds ratio (OR) = 1.19] as the genetic variant with the firmest independent association observed in the analyzed GWAS peak of association. After the first follow-up phase, only the association of rs3790567 was consistent (P(MH)= 4.84 × 10(-3) OR = 1.12). The second follow-up phase confirmed this finding (P(?2) = 2.82 × 10(-4) OR = 1.34). After performing overall pooled-analysis of all the cohorts included in the present study, the association found for the rs3790567 SNP in the IL12RB2 gene region reached GWAS-level significant association (P(MH)= 2.82 × 10(-9) OR = 1.17). Our data clearly support the IL12RB2 genetic association with SSc, and suggest a relevant role of the interleukin 12 signaling pathway in SSc pathogenesis.
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Identification of novel genetic markers associated with clinical phenotypes of systemic sclerosis through a genome-wide association strategy.
PLoS Genet.
PUBLISHED: 05-25-2011
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The aim of this study was to determine, through a genome-wide association study (GWAS), the genetic components contributing to different clinical sub-phenotypes of systemic sclerosis (SSc). We considered limited (lcSSc) and diffuse (dcSSc) cutaneous involvement, and the relationships with presence of the SSc-specific auto-antibodies, anti-centromere (ACA), and anti-topoisomerase I (ATA). Four GWAS cohorts, comprising 2,296 SSc patients and 5,171 healthy controls, were meta-analyzed looking for associations in the selected subgroups. Eighteen polymorphisms were further tested in nine independent cohorts comprising an additional 3,175 SSc patients and 4,971 controls. Conditional analysis for associated SNPs in the HLA region was performed to explore their independent association in antibody subgroups. Overall analysis showed that non-HLA polymorphism rs11642873 in IRF8 gene to be associated at GWAS level with lcSSc (P?=?2.32×10(-12), OR?=?0.75). Also, rs12540874 in GRB10 gene (P?=?1.27 × 10(-6), OR?=?1.15) and rs11047102 in SOX5 gene (P?=?1.39×10(-7), OR?=?1.36) showed a suggestive association with lcSSc and ACA subgroups respectively. In the HLA region, we observed highly associated allelic combinations in the HLA-DQB1 locus with ACA (P?=?1.79×10(-61), OR?=?2.48), in the HLA-DPA1/B1 loci with ATA (P?=?4.57×10(-76), OR?=?8.84), and in NOTCH4 with ACA P?=?8.84×10(-21), OR?=?0.55) and ATA (P?=?1.14×10(-8), OR?=?0.54). We have identified three new non-HLA genes (IRF8, GRB10, and SOX5) associated with SSc clinical and auto-antibody subgroups. Within the HLA region, HLA-DQB1, HLA-DPA1/B1, and NOTCH4 associations with SSc are likely confined to specific auto-antibodies. These data emphasize the differential genetic components of subphenotypes of SSc.
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Mast cells are a source of transforming growth factor ? in systemic sclerosis.
Arthritis Rheum.
PUBLISHED: 03-02-2011
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To describe the cellular source of transforming growth factor ? (TGF?) in the dermis of patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc).
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EUSTAR biobanking: recommendations for the collection, storage and distribution of biospecimens in scleroderma research.
Ann. Rheum. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 02-01-2011
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The European League Against Rheumatism Scleroderma Trials and Research Group (EUSTAR) has established an online database with clinical data of currently more than 8200 patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). In addition to clinical research, EUSTAR fosters biomolecular studies to develop novel biomarkers and therapies for SSc. High-quality biospecimens are the basis for successful biomolecular studies. The EUSTAR biobanking group has therefore developed recommendations to standardise the collection, storage and distribution of SSc biospecimens at EUSTAR centres. These recommendations consider the scientific challenges associated with biomolecular research in SSc and the organisational requirements of EUSTAR. They were approved by the EUSTAR executive committee as well as the EUSTAR board. Once they become effective, these recommendations will be the basis for international EUSTAR studies with large numbers of SSc biospecimens. These recommendations might also be followed by other SSc consortia to enable exchange of biosamples between different SSc initiatives and might serve as a template for biobanking initiatives in other rheumatic diseases.
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Needs and preferences regarding health care delivery as perceived by patients with systemic sclerosis.
Clin. Rheumatol.
PUBLISHED: 01-18-2011
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This study aims to examine the needs and preferences regarding the delivery of health care services and information provision and their determinants in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). A questionnaire was sent to 77 SSc outpatients, comprising 27 items on health care needs within the domains physical, psychological, social support, employment/daily activities, or other health problems and 13 items on information needs. Moreover, the patients preferences regarding the provision of health care services and information were listed. Additional assessments included sociodemographic characteristics, physical functioning (SSc Health Assessment Questionnaire), and quality of life (SF-36). Sixty-four patients (83%) returned the questionnaire. Twenty-six patients (41%) reported one or more unmet health care needs, with the highest proportions of patients with unmet needs seen in the physical (28%) and psychological (20%) domain. The highest percentages of patients with information needs were observed for medical subjects (20-28%). A lower mental component summary scale score and younger age were associated with the presence of at least one health care need in the psychological domain. Worse physical functioning, a diagnosis of diffuse SSc and having a partner were associated with higher information need score. A yearly, standardized multidisciplinary assessment program was most frequently mentioned as a preferred, but not yet existing health care model (59%) and the rheumatologist as a preferred source of information supply (75%). Unmet health care and information needs are common among SSc patients. To improve SSc health care, more attention should be paid to health care services for specific physical and psychological problems and medical information supply by the rheumatologist. In addition, the development of new models of care, such as a yearly, standardized multidisciplinary diagnostic program seems warranted.
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Involvement of functional autoantibodies against vascular receptors in systemic sclerosis.
Ann. Rheum. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 11-15-2010
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Systemic sclerosis (SSc) features autoimmunity, vasculopathy and tissue fibrosis. The renin-angiotensin and endothelin systems have been implicated in vasculopathy and fibrosis. A role for autoantibody-mediated receptor stimulation is hypothesised, linking three major pathophysiological features consistent with SSc.
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Late-onset systemic sclerosis--a systematic survey of the EULAR scleroderma trials and research group database.
Rheumatology (Oxford)
PUBLISHED: 09-30-2010
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The clinical course of SSc depends on subtype, organ involvement and age. Few data are reported on patients suffering from late-onset SSc.
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Stem cells in the treatment of inflammatory arthritis.
Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol
PUBLISHED: 08-25-2010
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Autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) resulted in a positive short-term outcome clinically with low treatment-related toxicity. However, early conditioning regimens were of low immunoablative intensity and most patients relapsed. Mechanistic studies suggest that residual lesional effector cells may have been responsible for the relapses. The introduction of biopharmaceuticals has, for the moment, reduced the need for further experimental studies. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis patients, mostly of the systemic subgroup, have shown nearly 33% durable drug-free remission, but with significant toxicity, including fatal macrophage-activation syndrome early in the programme. Later modifications to the protocol have reduced this toxicity. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), derived from several sources including bone marrow and adipose tissue, are being tested as tissue-regenerative and immunomodulating agents in many autoimmune diseases and animal models of inflammatory arthritis have been positive. MSCs and other stromal cells derived from actively inflamed synovium and peripheral blood of RA patients do not always demonstrate a full range of differentiation potential compared with healthy MSCs, although their immunomodulalatory capacity is unimpaired.
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B-cell depletion with rituximab: a promising treatment for diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis.
Arthritis Res. Ther.
PUBLISHED: 04-22-2010
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Recent preclinical and clinical studies lend support to the notion that B-cell depletion is a promising therapeutic target in patients with diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis. A recent open-label trial provides further evidence showing marked effects of rituximab treatment on skin thickening, functional ability, and disease activity in conjunction with effects on lesional and circulating B cells and on interleukin-6 and BAFF (B-cell activating factor of tumor necrosis factor family). The excellent safety profile of rituximab in this and other trials warrants further well-designed clinical trials in larger patient groups combined with comprehensive biomarker studies.
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Allogeneic stem cell transplantation for rheumatic autoimmune diseases.
F1000 Med Rep
PUBLISHED: 03-25-2010
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Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) has evolved from an experimental concept to an effective treatment option for severe autoimmune diseases and has a unique ability to restore immune regulation. It is a complex multistep procedure involving the administration of high doses of immunosuppressive medication and transplantation of stem cells. Most HSCT procedures in autoimmune disease have involved autologous stem cells. In the case of allogeneic transplantation, stem cells are derived from peripheral blood or bone marrow of a healthy HLA-matched donor. Allogeneic HSCT has curative potential based on studies in experimental models of autoimmune disease, case reports, and a registry analysis but carries significant risks of rejection and graft-versus-host disease. Unless these risks become manageable, allogeneic HSCT should be offered only if all alternative treatment options have failed, if a patient has a suitable donor, and if a patient still has a chance to benefit significantly from the procedure.
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New pathogenic and therapeutic concepts in systemic sclerosis.
Arzneimittelforschung
PUBLISHED: 12-19-2009
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Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is an autoimmune disease of unknown origin. The clinical hallmarks are progressive fibrosis of skin and internal organs and vasculopathic changes in the form of digital ulcers and pulmonary arterial hypertension. The chronicity and heterogeneity of the disease has hampered research in SSc in the past, but new research tools and animal models have contributed to a greater understanding of the pathogenesis of SSc and resulted in new findings in the fields of genomics, cytokine expression, autoantibodies and abnormalities of blood progenitor or effector cells. As a consequence, targeted therapeutic compounds such as imatinib are currently under clinical investigation. Whilst the search for an effective "targeted therapy" is still ongoing, autologous stem cell transplantation represents a "multitarget" approach aiming at "resetting" the immune system. This review gives an overview of the translation from pathogenic findings into therapeutical application.
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Intranasal administration of recombinant human cartilage glycoprotein-39 as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis: a phase II, multicentre, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, dose-finding trial.
Ann. Rheum. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 09-23-2009
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Autoantigen-specific immunotherapy by mucosal tolerance induction via the intranasal route is an attractive therapeutic option for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Human cartilage glycoprotein-39 (HC gp-39) has been identified as a potential key autoantigen in RA. Based on animal studies, intranasal administration of the autoantigen is hypothesised to induce immunological tolerance in patients with RA and to ameliorate disease activity. In a phase I/IIA clinical trial in patients with RA, intranasal application of HC gp-39 was safe and well tolerated.
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Residual inflammation after rituximab treatment is associated with sustained synovial plasma cell infiltration and enhanced B cell repopulation.
Ann. Rheum. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 06-25-2009
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To investigate the clinical effects of rituximab treatment in relation to immunological effects of rituximab on tissue-derived B lineage cells and repopulation of circulating B cells.
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KCNA5 gene is not confirmed as a systemic sclerosis-related pulmonary arterial hypertension genetic susceptibility factor.
Arthritis Res. Ther.
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ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Potassium voltage-gated channel shaker-related subfamily member 5 (KCNA5) is implicated in vascular tone regulation, and its inhibition during hypoxia produces pulmonary vasoconstriction. Recently, a protective association of the KCNA5 locus with systemic sclerosis (SSc) patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) was reported. Hence, the aim of this study was to replicate these findings in an independent multicenter Caucasian SSc cohort. METHODS: The 2,343 SSc cases (179 PAH positive, confirmed by right-heart catheterization) and 2,690 matched healthy controls from five European countries were included in this study. Rs10744676 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) was genotyped by using a TaqMan SNP genotyping assay. RESULTS: Individual population analyses of the selected KCNA5 genetic variant did not show significant association with SSc or any of the defined subsets (for example, limited cutaneous SSc, diffuse cutaneous SSc, anti-centromere autoantibody positive and anti-topoisomerase autoantibody positive). Furthermore, pooled analyses revealed no significant evidence of association with the disease or any of the subsets, not even the PAH-positive group. The comparison of PAH-positive patients with PAH-negative patients showed no significant differences among patients. CONCLUSIONS: Our data do not support an important role of KCNA5 as an SSc-susceptibility factor or as a PAH-development genetic marker for SSc patients.
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Toll-like receptor-mediated, enhanced production of profibrotic TIMP-1 in monocytes from patients with systemic sclerosis: role of serum factors.
Ann. Rheum. Dis.
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To investigate whether monocytes contribute to matrix deposition in systemic sclerosis (SSc) by production of tissue-inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1).
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Pretreatment synovial transcriptional profile is associated with early and late clinical response in rheumatoid arthritis patients treated with rituximab.
Ann. Rheum. Dis.
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Personalised healthcare is contingent on the identification of biomarkers that represent disease relevant pathways and predict drug response. The authors aimed to develop a gene expression signature in synovial tissue that could enrich clinical response of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients to rituximab.
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T cells in systemic sclerosis: a reappraisal.
Rheumatology (Oxford)
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SSc is an autoimmune disease characterized by inflammation and extracellular matrix deposition that ultimately leads to loss of organ function. T cells appear to play a prominent role in its pathogenesis. The evidence for this comes from their being at the site of fibrosis, their activated phenotype and alteration in their number and frequency in peripheral blood. This review examines the role of T cells in the pathogenesis of SSc and specifically examines the key soluble profibrotic mediators (IL-4, IL-6, IL-13) secreted by Th2 cells and their interactions with fibroblasts that deposit excess extracellular matrix leading to fibrosis. We finally examine possible therapeutic options in targeting T-cell mediators to disrupt the cellular interactions between T cells and fibroblasts that serve to drive the fibrotic response. One of the factors driving fibrosis is IL-6 and this can be neutralized in vivo not only to limit IL-6-driven tissue fibrosis but concomitantly to suppress switching of Tregs to Th17 T cells that will provide more IL-6, thus perpetuating the fibrosis. Taken together, these data implicate the role of T cells in SSc and suggest that Th2-polarized T cells and the fibrotic mediators subsequently released directly induce fibrosis. Targeting such cytokines may be therapeutic not only in SSc but more generally in diseases where fibrosis is directed by inflammatory signals.
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Interleukin-6, its role in fibrosing conditions.
Cytokine Growth Factor Rev.
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Interleukin-6 is a classic pro-inflammatory cytokine needed to mount an effective immune response. It is secreted by a wide array of cell types, however, its target cells are more restricted, due to the fact that very few cells, except lymphocytes and hepatocytes, express the functional membrane IL-6 receptor. This therefore limits the amount of cells that can respond to IL-6. Transsignalling, the shedding of the membrane bound form of the IL-6 receptor (sIL-6R) into the local microenvironment, greatly increases the range of cells that can respond e.g. as part of a wound healing response necessary to restore the homeostatic balance. Therefore, tight regulation of IL-6 signalling must occur to stop an inappropriate wound healing response occurring. This review focusses on the role of IL-6 in inflammation and fibrosing conditions, with a particular emphasis on systemic sclerosis (SSc), a chronic autoimmune disease in which a classical hallmark of fibrosis occurs. This fibrosis, in particular the skin and internal organs, leads to contractures and internal organ failure respectively with potential fatal consequences. In this review we will discuss the biology of IL-6 in the context of fibrosing conditions such as SSc and argue why molecular targeting of IL-6 is a promising therapeutic target.
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Differentiation potential of CD14+ monocytes into myofibroblasts in patients with systemic sclerosis.
PLoS ONE
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Circulating monocytes are a highly plastic and functionally heterogeneic cell type with an activated phenotype in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). CD14(+) monocytes have the potential to differentiate into extra-cellular matrix (ECM) producing cells, possibly participating in fibrogenesis.
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Induction of long-term B-cell depletion in refractory rheumatoid arthritis patients preferentially affects autoreactive more than protective humoral immunity.
Arthritis Res. Ther.
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B-cell depletion has become a common treatment strategy in anti-TNF-refractory rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Although the exact mechanism of how B-cell depletion leads to clinical amelioration in RA remains to be elucidated, repetitive treatment with B-cell-depleting agents leading to long-term B-cell depletion has been reported to be beneficial. The latter has led to the hypothesis that the beneficial effects of B-cell depletion might act through their influence on pathogenic autoreactive plasma cells.
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Identification of CSK as a systemic sclerosis genetic risk factor through Genome Wide Association Study follow-up.
Hum. Mol. Genet.
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Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is complex autoimmune disease affecting the connective tissue; influenced by genetic and environmental components. Recently, we performed the first successful genome-wide association study (GWAS) of SSc. Here, we perform a large replication study to better dissect the genetic component of SSc. We selected 768 polymorphisms from the previous GWAS and genotyped them in seven replication cohorts from Europe. Overall significance was calculated for replicated significant SNPs by meta-analysis of the replication cohorts and replication-GWAS cohorts (3237 cases and 6097 controls). Six SNPs in regions not previously associated with SSc were selected for validation in another five independent cohorts, up to a total of 5270 SSc patients and 8326 controls. We found evidence for replication and overall genome-wide significance for one novel SSc genetic risk locus: CSK [P-value = 5.04 × 10(-12), odds ratio (OR) = 1.20]. Additionally, we found suggestive association in the loci PSD3 (P-value = 3.18 × 10(-7), OR = 1.36) and NFKB1 (P-value = 1.03 × 10(-6), OR = 1.14). Additionally, we strengthened the evidence for previously confirmed associations. This study significantly increases the number of known putative genetic risk factors for SSc, including the genes CSK, PSD3 and NFKB1, and further confirms six previously described ones.
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Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for autoimmune disease--is it now ready for prime time?
Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant.
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Current systemic therapies are rarely curative for patients with severe life-threatening forms of autoimmune disease (AID). During the past 15 years, autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) has been demonstrated to cure some patients with severe AID refractory to all other available therapies, and thus AID has become an emerging indication for cell therapy. The sustained clinical effects after autologous HCT are better explained by qualitative change in the reconstituted immune repertoire rather than transient depletion of immune cells. Since 1996, more than 1300 AID patients have been registered by the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) and almost 500 patients by the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR). Autologous HCT is most commonly performed for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) or systemic sclerosis (SSc). Systemic lupus, Crohns disease, type I diabetes, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis are other common indications. Allogeneic transplants are still considered too toxic for use in AID, except for cases of immune cytopenia. Although biologic therapies have been effective at controlling the manifestations of the disease, they require continuous administration, thus raising questions about their increasing costs, morbidity, and mortality related to prolonged therapy. Perhaps it is a reasonable time to ask, "Is autologous HCT for severe AID now ready for prime time?" Yet, the paucity of controlled studies, the short-term toxicities, and the upcoming availability of second-generation biologic and targeted immunotherapies argues that perhaps HCT for AID should be still limited to clinical trials. In this article, we focus on the results of autologous HCT for MS and SSc because these are the two most commonly transplanted diseases. The promising data that is emerging may establish these diseases as standard indications for HCT.
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JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.

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In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.