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עמוד בית
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April 2023
Lena Busch PhD, Carsten Schriek MD, Matthias Paul MD FESC FHFA, Harald Heidecke PhD

Background: Myalgic encephalomyelits/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is an acquired disease with symptoms of fatigue and pain. In pathogenesis, the induction of autoantibodies (AAB) against G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR), such as β-adrenergic receptors (β-AdR), has been suspected. GPCR-AAB correlate with symptom severity and autonomic dysfunction in ME/CFS.

Objectives: To describe symptoms and treatment of a patient presenting with infection-triggered ME/CFS demonstrating that levels of β-AdR-AAB underlie modulation over time, correlating with the severity of symptoms.

Methods: At T1 and T2, GPCR-AAB were measured and questionnaires assessing symptom severity were completed. TSHDS-IgM-AAB were tested, and SF density was analyzed via skin probe.

Results: At T2, elevated levels of β-AdR-AAB were found, corresponding with an aggravation of fatigue and pain symptoms. Elevated TSHDS-IgM-AAB were found, which corresponded with reduced fiber density from the skin probe.

Conclusions: The levels of β-AdR-AAB in post-infectious ME/CFS can be modulated. Future studies might target interventions to reduce these AAB.

March 2023
Johnatan Nissan, Anna Blokh MD, Niv Ben-Shabat MD MPH, Harald Heidecke PhD, Gilad Halpert PhD, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR, Howard Amital MD MHA

Background: Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is estimated to affect 2–4% of the general population. While FMS has some known environmental and genetic risk factors, the disorder has no clear etiology. A common coexisting disorder with FMS is small fiber neuropathy (SFN). High levels of serum immunoglobulin M (IgM) binding to trisulfated-heparin-disaccharide (TS-HDS) were recently found to be associated with SFN.

Objectives: To evaluate potential differences in anti-TS-HDS antibody titers in women with FMS compared to healthy controls.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we evaluated 51 female participants: 30 with a diagnosis of FMS and 21 healthy controls who had been recruited at the Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Diseases, Sheba Medical Center, Israel. All of the participants were older than 18 years of age. Anti-TS-HDS IgM levels were measured in their sera using the enzyme immunoassay technique.

Results: The mean anti-TS-HDS IgM levels were significantly lower in the FMS group, compared with the control group (7.7 ± 5 vs. 13.2 ± 8.6 U/ml, respectively; P = 0.013).

Conclusions: There is a possible association between FMS and anti-TS-HDS IgM. This association might be the missing link for the coexistence of SFN and FMS, but further study should be performed to assess this association and this auto-antibody characteristic.

July 2022
Abdulrahman Elsalti MD, Abdulkarim Alwani MD, Isa Seida MD, Mahmoud Alrais MD, Ravend Seida MD, Sevval Nil Esirgun MD, Tunahan Abali MD, Zeynep Kiyak MD, and Naim Mahroum MD
February 2020
Tawfik Khoury MD, Anas Kadah MD, Amir Mari MD, Wisam Sbeit MD, Ariel Drori MD and Mahmud Mahamid MD

Background: Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) may be associated with other autoimmune diseases. Autoantibodies are common in AIH suggesting their potential role in the pathogenesis of the disease. Among these autoantibodies, thyroid autoantibodies have been reported in patients with chronic hepatitis, with greater prevalence in patients with chronic hepatitis C infection.

Objectives: To assess the prevalence of thyroid dysfunction among patients with AIH.

Methods: In this case-control, retrospective study, we examined patients diagnosed with AIH according to both the original and revised international AIH group scoring systems. Patients with other hepatic pathologies were excluded AIH was evaluated as an independent risk factor for thyroid disease by a logistic regression model. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses were conducted using hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism as the dependent variables.

Results: Our cohort comprised 163 patients diagnosed with AIH and 1104 healthy age- and gender-matched controls. Hypothyroidism was more prevalent among those with AIH compared to controls (17.7% vs. 5%, respectively, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.68–2.48, P <  0.001). Hyperthyroidism was more prevalent in AIH patients compared to controls (odds ratio 3.2% and 1.2%, respectively, 95%CI 1.68–2.47, P <  0.001). Using a multivariate logistic analysis, we found an independent association between AIH and hypothyroidism but not with hyperthyroidism.

Conclusions: Thyroid dysfunction is more prevalent in patients with AIH. Whether thyroid dysfunction is the cause or a risk factor for AIH, or vice versa, is still unclear. Screening for thyroid dysfunction is warranted after AIH is diagnosed.

August 2019
Maria Infantino MD, Teresa Carbone BD, Mariangela Manfredi BD, Valentina Grossi BD, Maurizio Benucci MD, Miri Blank PhD, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR and Nicola Bizzaro MD
July 2019
August 2017
Irina Vasilyevna Belyaeva MD PhD, Leonid Pavlovitch Churilov MD PhD, Liya Robertovnа Mikhailova MS, Aleksey Vladimirovitch Nikolaev MD, Anna Andreevna Starshinova MD DSci and Piotr Kazimirovitch Yablonsky MD DSci

Background: Vitamin D insufficiency is associated with autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases such as tuberculosis and sarcoidosis. 

Objectives: To evaluate the vitamin D-dependent mechanisms of immunity and autoimmunity in different forms of pulmonary tuberculosis and sarcoidosis.

Methods: We measured the serum levels of 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D, individual autoimmune profiles, plasma concentrations of cathelicidin, several hormones, and production of nine cytokines in patients with short- and long-duration tuberculosis and sarcoidosis.

Results: The level of 25(OH)D was significantly decreased in all patients. Concentration of 1,25(OH)2D was elevated only in sarcoidosis, prolactin content was augmented only in tuberculosis. We saw no expected increase of cathelicidin levels in tuberculosis and sarcoidosis. The individual mean immune reactivity levels of autoantibodies to 24 antigens were significantly lower in tuberculosis and sarcoidosis patients compared to healthy controls. Pronounced deviations from individual mean immune reactivity levels were found for several autoantigens in all patients. The induced production of interferon gamma-γ, interleukin (IL) 2, 17, and 8 by peripheral blood mononuclear cells was significantly increased in patients of both tuberculosis groups, but spontaneous production of tumor necrosis factor-α, IL-2, and IL-6 was lower in the tuberculosis patients than in healthy controls. We registered marked differences in the groups of tuberculosis patients. 

Conclusions: We demonstrated the role of vitamin D deficiency in poor cathelicidin response in  tuberculosis and sarcoidosis. Both diseases are accompanied by significant changes in the autoimmune profile, probably related to the status of vitamin D and cytokine regulation. 

 

July 2017
Nicola Luigi Bragazzi MD PhD, Abdulla Watad MD, Mohammad Adawi MD, Howard Amital MD MHA, Gali Aljadeff BSc and Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR
September 2016
Lazaros I. Sakkas MD DM PhD (London) FRCP (London) and Dimitrios P Bogdanos MD PhD (London)

Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is characterized by extensive collagen deposition, microvasculopathy and autoantibodies. All three features can be promoted by activation of T cells and B cells. T cells are of Th2 type producing profibrotic cytokines IL-4 and IL-13 and inducing dendritic cell maturation that promotes Th2 response. B cells are overactivated and promote fibrosis by autoantibodies that activate fibroblasts or inhibit the degradation of extracellular matrix. They also promote fibrosis by cell-cell contact with fibroblasts or dendritic cells. B cells, through autoantibodies, may promote vasoconstriction and obliterative vasculopathy. They may also sustain activation of T cells by functioning as antigen-presenting cells. An immunoregulatory subset of B cells, namely IL-10-producing Bregs, is decreased in SSc. Finally, B cells have a critical role in animal models of SSc. All this evidence suggests an important role for B cells in the pathogenesis of SSc and makes B cells a potential target for therapeutic intervention in this disease. 

 

Efstathia K. Kapsogeorgou PhD and Athanasios G. Tzioufas MD

Autoimmune diseases constitute a diverse group of disorders characterized by cellular and humoral responses against self. The humoral autoimmune responses are directed against various cellular and extracellular components. These responses are highly specific for each autoimmune disease and result in the production of autoantibodies that characterize certain disease entities, representing a valuable tool for the diagnosis of autoimmune diseases. Furthermore, certain autoantibodies are helpful in the prognosis of disease development, progression and severity, as well as in the classification of patients with distinct disease subtypes. Today, the value of autoantibodies in the follow-up of patients is limited, but preliminary data suggest that they may be useful in predicting response to treatment. 

April 2016
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.

Gian Domenico Sebastiani MD PhD, Immacolata Prevete MD, Annamaria Iuliano MD and Giovanni Minisola MD

Background: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease with a high degree of variability at onset, making it difficult to reach a correct and prompt diagnosis.

Objectives: To present the difficulties faced by the clinician in making a SLE diagnosis, based on the characteristics at study entry of an Italian cohort of SLE patients with recent onset as compared to two similar cohorts.

Methods: Beginning on 1 January 2012 all patients with a diagnosis of SLE (1997 ACR criteria) and a disease duration less than 12 months were consecutively enrolled in a multicenter prospective study. Information on clinical and serological characteristics was collected at study entry and every 6 months thereafter.

Results: Our cohort consisted of 122 patients, of whom 103 were females. Among the manifestations included in the 1997 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria, cutaneous, articular and hematologic symptoms were the most prevalent symptoms at study entry.

Conclusions: Data from the literature confirm that the diagnosis of SLE is challenging, and that SLE is a severe disease even at onset when a prompt diagnosis is necessary for initiating the appropriate therapy.

September 2015
Dana Ben-Ami Shor MD MHA, Guy A. Weiss MD, Ori Barzilai MD, Maya Ram MD, Juan-Manuel Anaya MD, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD and Yaniv Sherer MD

Background: The association between antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) and multiple sclerosis (MS) has been suggested previously, but prior studies provided contradicting findings. 

Objectives: To characterize the expression profile of eight classic and non-classic aPL in patients diagnosed with MS.

Methods: Using the BioPlex™ 2200 immunoassay, we measured the levels of serum immunoglobulin (Ig)M and IgG isotypes of three classic aPL and five non-classic aPL in 98 subjects with MS and 237 healthy controls. 

Results: Three non-classic aPL were significantly more prevalent among MS patients in comparison to the control group. These antibodies included IgM and IgG against phosphatidylserine-β2GPI (PS-B2), IgG prothrombin complex (PT-PT) and IgM prothrombin (PT). The positive results according to Bonferroni correction are PS-B2 IgG and PT-PT IgG. The remaining aPL profiles did not differ significantly between the two groups.

Conclusions: An association between certain non-classic aPL and MS has been established. The specific role of these autoantibodies in the pathogenesis of the condition remains uncertain.  

 

February 2015
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