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עמוד בית
Fri, 30.09.22

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January 2015
Maria A. Martínez-Godínez MSc MD1, Maria P. Cruz-Domínguez DSc, Luis J. Jara MD, Aarón Domínguez-López DSc, Rosa A. Jarillo-Luna DSc, Olga Vera-Lastra MD, Daniel H. Montes-Cortes DSc, Rafael Campos-Rodríguez DSc, Dulce M. López-Sánchez MSc, Cesar M. Mejía-Barradas DSc, Enrique E Castelán-Chávez MSc and Angel Miliar-García DSc

Background: The activated NLRP3 inflammasome is associated with the etiology of fibrotic diseases. The role of inflammasomes in SSc is still poorly understood.

Objectives: To determine the expression of NLRP3 (nucleotide-binding domain, leucine-rich-repeat-containing family, pyrin domain-containing 3) in the skin of patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc) and its relationship with pro-inflammatory cytokines and vascular mediators expression.

Methods: Skin biopsies were taken from 42 patients with either limited or diffuse SSc (21 lcSSc and 21 dcSSc), and from 13 healthy individuals. Using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), the relative expression of caspase-1, IL-1β, IL-18, IL-33, TGF-β, ET-1, iNOS and eNOS genes, were measured. The location of NLRP3 and IL-1β were also determined by immunohistochemistry. Clinical characteristics were evaluated.

Results: The mean age of the patients was 49.3 ± 12.9 (lcSSc), 44.6 ±1 3.8 (dcSSc), and 45 ± 14.1 (healthy individuals). Compared to healthy individuals, the skin of both subtypes of SSc showed a significant increase (P < 0.05) in NLRP3, caspase-1, IL-1β, IL-18 and ET-1. Samples of lcSSc also showed a significant increase of eNOS (P < 0.029), iNOS (P < 0.04) and TGF-β (P < 0.05). Dermal fibrosis evaluated by modified Rodnan skin score (MRSS) had significant correlation with NLRP3, IL-1β, IL-18, and ET-1. Immunohistochemical analysis showed stronger staining of NLRP3 and IL-1β cytoplasmic expression in the keratinizing squamous epithelium of skin from SSc patients compared to controls.

Conclusions: This study identified NLRP3 over-expression in skin of patients with SSc. Skin thickness correlates positively with the NLRP3 inflammasome gene expression and with the vascular mediator and pro-fibrotic ET-1, suggesting that NLRP3 inflammasome plays a role in the pathophysiology of skin fibrosis in human SSc.

October 2014
Elisabetta Borella MD, Lavinia Palma MD, Margherita Zen MD, Silvano Bettio MD, Linda Nalotto MD, Mariele Gatto MD, Marta Domeneghetti MD, Luca Iaccarino MD, Leonardo Punzi and Andrea Doria MD
Autoinflammatory (AIF) and autoimmune (AIM) diseases are chronic immune disorders characterized by dysregulation of the immune system. Most AIF diseases are monogenic diseases which lead to hyperactivation of the inflammasome and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin-1 (IL-1) and IL-18, resulting in tissue inflammation. Besides, the main feature of autoimmune diseases is the loss of tolerance of the adaptive immune cells against self antigens. Most AIF diseases are polygenic and numerous immune pathogens are involved in organ damage. The involvement of some AIF-associated mechanisms in AIM diseases, i.e., the activation of the inflammasome and the role of IL-1, was recently recognized. Moreover, some single nucleotide polymorphisms of the inflammasome genes have been proven to be involved in the development of AIF-related inflammatory features in autoimmune patients. These observations raise the possibility of using some anti-inflammatory drugs, like IL-1 antagonists, in autoimmune diseases with autoinflammatory features. 
May 2014
Ilan Ben-Zvi MD and Avi Livneh MD
Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is a genetic autoinflammatory disease characterized by spontaneous short attacks of fever, elevated acute-phase reactants, and serositis. Approximately 5%–10% of FMF patients do not respond to colchicine treatment and another 5% are intolerant to colchicine because of side effects. Recently, following the discovery of the inflammasome and recognition of the importance of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) as the major cytokine involved in the pathogenesis of FMF, IL-1β blockade has been suggested and tried sporadically to treat FMF, with good results. To date, case reports and small case series involving colchicine-resistant FMF patients and showing high efficacy of IL-1β blockade have been reported. At the Israel Center for FMF at the Sheba Medical Center the first double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial of anakinra in FMF patients who are resistant or intolerant to colchicines is underway. In this report we discuss the mechanism of colchicine resistance in FMF patients, the data in the literature on IL1β blockade in these patients, and the anakinra trial inclusion criteria and study protocol.

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