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Autoimmune Diseases publishes original research articles, review articles, and clinical studies on all aspects of autoimmunity. Articles focus on the basic biology and mechanism of the disease, and medical treatment of autoimmune diseases.
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The Influence of Reactive Oxygen Species in the Immune System and Pathogenesis of Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple roles have been indicated for reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the immune system in recent years. ROS have been extensively studied due to their ability to damage DNA and other subcellular structures. Noticeably, they have been identified as a pivotal second messenger for T-cell receptor signaling and T-cell activation and participate in antigen cross-presentation and chemotaxis. As an agent with direct toxic effects on cells, ROS lead to the initiation of the autoimmune response. Moreover, ROS levels are regulated by antioxidant systems, which include enzymatic and nonenzymatic antioxidants. Enzymatic antioxidants include superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and glutathione reductase. Nonenzymatic antioxidants contain vitamins C, A, and E, glutathione, and thioredoxin. Particularly, cellular antioxidant systems have important functions in maintaining the redox system homeostasis. This review will discuss the significant roles of ROS generation and antioxidant systems under normal conditions, in the immune system, and pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis.
Autoimmune Mechanisms of Interferon Hypersensitivity and Neurodegenerative Diseases: Down Syndrome
Down syndrome (DS), also known as trisomy 21 (T21), is associated with interferon (IFN) hypersensitivity, as well as predilections for Alzheimer’s dementia (AD) and various autoimmune diseases. IFN-α and IFN-γ receptors are encoded on chromosome 21 (Ch21). It remains unclear how other Ch21 genes contribute to the neuropathological features of DS/T21. This study tests the hypothesis that identifying IFN-stimulated response element (ISRE) control sites on Ch21 will mark novel candidate genes for DS/T21-related IFN hypersensitivity and neuropathology not previously reported to be associated with IFN functions. We performed whole chromosome searches of online databases. The general ISRE consensus and gamma interferon activation consensus sequences (GAS) were used for identifying IFN-stimulated response elements. Candidate genes were defined as those possessing two or more ISRE and/or GAS control sites within and/or upstream of the transcription start site. A literature search of gene functions was used to select the candidate genes most likely to explain neuropathology associated with IFN hypersensitivity. DOPEY2, TMEM50B, PCBP3, RCAN1, and SIM2 were found to meet the aforementioned gene search and functional criteria. These findings suggest that DOPEY2, TMEM50B, PCBP3, RCAN1, and SIM2 are genes which may be dysregulated in DS/T21 and may therefore serve as novel targets for treatments aimed at ameliorating the neuropathological features of DS/T21. Future studies should determine whether these genes are dysregulated in patients with DS, DS-related AD, and autoimmune diseases.
The Effects of Alternate-Day Corticosteroids in Autoimmune Disease Patients
Introduction. Several studiesdemonstrated that the use of alternate-day corticosteroid therapy maintains control of autoimmune diseases due to the prolongation of their therapeutic effect beyond their metabolic effect, with a significant decrease in side effects in patients. For this reason, the current recommendation for the use of these medications is in a short cycle to avoid adverse effects when used frequently and for prolonged periods of time. Objectives. To learn variations in serum levels of autoantibodies in autoimmune diseases treated with steroids on alternate days, as well as whether there are differences in the response to them depending on the type of disease. Study Design. A descriptive, retrospective, and cross-sectional study was conducted in which serum autoantibody levels were compared at the time of diagnosis and three months after alternate-day corticosteroid therapy. Results. We included 106 patients from three autoimmune connective tissue diseases (systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjögren syndrome, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) and observed a statistically significant decrease in serum autoantibody levels both in patients with lupus and those with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, regardless of the sex of the patients, as well as the type of steroids used. Conclusions. Treatment with alternate-day corticosteroids achieved a statistically significant decrease in serum autoantibody levels in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Vitamin D and Demyelinating Diseases: Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in all ages regardless of climate or geographical location and evidence is emerging that the incidence of autoimmune diseases is increasing worldwide. Women make up a large proportion of autoimmune disease diagnoses, underscoring the importance of fully elucidating the complex synergistic relationships between estrogens and vitamin D. Vitamin D receptor-activating drugs appear to enhance remyelination in patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) and other demyelinating diseases such as neuromyelitis optica (NMO). This review is intended to update health practitioners about the potential role of vitamin D deficiency demyelination and to motivate future research on dietary recommendations for vitamin D in preventing and treating demyel1nating diseases.
Significance of Anti-TPO as an Early Predictive Marker in Thyroid Disease
Even though most thyroid subjects are undiagnosed due to nonspecific symptoms, universal screening for thyroid disease is not recommended for the general population. In this study, our motive is to showcase the early appearance of thyroid autoantibody, anti-TPO, prior to the onset of thyroid hormone disruption; hence the addition of anti-TPO in conjunction with traditional thyroid markers TSH and FT4 would aid to reduce the long-term morbidity and associated health concerns. Here, a total of 4581 subjects were tested multiple times for TSH, FT4, anti-TPO, and anti-Tg and followed up for 2 years. We streamlined our subjects into two groups, A1 (euthyroid at first visit, but converted to subclinical/overt hypothyroidism in follow-up visits) and A2 (euthyroid at first visit, but converted to hyperthyroidism in follow-up visits). According to our results, 73% of hypothyroid subjects (from group A1) and 68.6% of hyperthyroid subjects (from group A2) had anti-TPO 252 (±33) and 277 (±151) days prior to the onset of the thyroid dysfunction, respectively. Both subclinical/overt hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism showed a significantly higher percentage of subjects who had anti-TPO prior to the onset of thyroid dysfunction compared to the combined control group. However, there was no significant difference in the subjects who had anti-Tg earlier than the control group. Further assessment showed that only anti-TPO could be used as a standalone marker but not anti-Tg. Our results showcase that anti-TPO appear prior to the onset of thyroid hormone dysfunction; hence testing anti-TPO in conjunction with TSH would greatly aid to identify potentially risk individuals and prevent long-term morbidity.
Galectin-1, -4, and -7 Were Associated with High Activity of Disease in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis
Background. Due to the variety of functions that galectins (Gal) possess, it is clear that they participate in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Although some studies demonstrate their functions, there is still no correlation with the clinical data of the disease, having the physiological meaning still unknown. Objectives. To compare serum levels of Gal-1, -4, and -7 in patients with RA and healthy controls and to correlate them with clinical parameters. Methods. Serum samples were collected from patients with RA and healthy donors to determine the serum levels of Gal-1, -4, and -7. Results. Serum levels of Gal-1, -4, and -7 were significantly higher in RA patients compared to controls. We evaluated disease activity (CDAI) with serum levels of galectins and found that patients who were high in disease activity had high levels of galectin compared to the moderate activity group. Galectin-4 had higher levels in patients who were in high activity when compared to the group in remission or low activity. Evaluating the activity of the individual disease (DAS28), patients in high individual activity had high levels of Gal-4 when compared to the group in remission or low activity. We also found an association between positive rheumatoid factor and Gal-1 and Gal-4 levels. Conclusion. Our results show for the first time the relationship between serum levels of galectin and the clinical parameters of patients with RA. Demonstrating their role in pathogenesis, new studies with galectins are needed to assess how they function as a biomarker in RA.