Serena Colafrancesco MD, Carlo Perricone MD and Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP
Sjögren’s syndrome (SS), a chronic systemic autoimmune inflammatory condition involving the exocrine glands, has been suggested to be part of the spectrum of the “Autoimmune/inflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants” (ASIA). ASIA incorporates an umbrella of clinical conditions including siliconosis, macrophage myofasciitis syndrome, and post-vaccination phenomena that occur after the exposure to a substance, namely the adjuvant. Interestingly, SS and ASIA share several common features. Firstly, a shared pathogenic mechanism involving a disruption of the immune system balance, with B cell proliferation, cytokine production and tissue infiltration, have been proposed. Patients with ASIA often present clinical features resembling those of SS; dry mouth and dry eyes have also been included in the proposed classification criteria for ASIA. Finally, several case reports have suggested that both vaccines and silicone may trigger the development of SS. Unveiling these common pathways will contribute considerably to our understanding and managing of both conditions.
Paula R. David, Amir Dagan MD, Maartje Colaris MD, Mintsje de Boer MD, Jan W. Cohen Tervaert MD and Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaCR
Abdulla Watad MD, Shana G. Neumann BA, Alessandra Soriano MD, Howard Amital MD and Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaCR
There is growing interest in the contribution of vitamin D deficiency to autoimmunity. Several studies have shown an association between low levels of vitamin D and autoimmune disorders, including multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, autoimmune thyroid diseases, celiac disease, and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Vitamin D receptor ligands can mediate immunosuppressive effects. It has been suggested that low levels of this hormone contribute to the immune activation in lupus and other autoimmune diseases. This review updates and summarizes the literature on the association between vitamin D and SLE, and discusses the various correlations between vitamin D and SLE activity, clinical expressions, serology, and gene polymorphisms of vitamin D receptors.
Sara Bindoli MD, José J. Torres-Ruiz MD, Carlo Perricone MD, Mojca Bizjak MD, Andrea Doria MD and Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaCR
Sarcoidosis is a chronic multisystem disease with variable course resulting from the interaction between environmental factors and the immune system of individuals genetically predisposed. The evidence linking sarcoidosis with environmental triggers such as metals is increasing. We describe the case of a 44 year old female with a history of smoking since age 30 and previous mercury dental filling who presented at physical examination with numerous subcutaneous nodules. Laboratory data showed accelerated erythrocyte sedimentation rate and high titer of anti-U1 ribonucleoprotein antibodies (U1-RNP). Skin biopsy and chest X-ray suggested the diagnosis of sarcoidosis. In this report we illustrate the different causes involved in the onset of sarcoidosis.