ResearchPad - autoimmune-diseases https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Administration of lower doses of radium-224 to ankylosing spondylitis patients results in no evidence of significant overall detriment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11232 The use of low doses of radium-224 (224Ra) chloride for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis was stopped following the discovery that patients treated with it had a higher than control incidence of leukaemia and other cancers. This was so even though the treatment resulted in decreased pain and increased mobility–both of which are associated with decreased mortality. It was decided to re-analyze the epidemiological data looking at all causes of death. The risk of leukaemia, solid cancer, death from non-cancer causes and from all causes in a study populations of men that received either the typical dose of 5.6 to 11.1 MBq of 224Ra, any dose of 224Ra or no radium were compared using the Cox proportional hazard model. For patients that received the typical dose of 224Ra agreed with the excess cancer was similar to that reported in previous studies. In contrast, these patients were less likely to die from non-cancer diseases and from all causes of death than the control patients. No excess mortality was also found in the population of all males that received the radionuclide. It is concluded that 224Ra treatment administered at low doses to patients with ankylosing spondylitis did not impact mortality from all causes. The study demonstrates the need to consider all causes of death and longevity when assessing health impacts following irradiation.

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<![CDATA[New estimates of the Zika virus epidemic attack rate in Northeastern Brazil from 2015 to 2016: A modelling analysis based on Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) surveillance data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7754 The mandatory reporting of the Zika virus (ZIKV) disease began region-wide in February 2016, and it is believed that ZIKV cases could have been highly under-reported before that. Given the Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is relatively well reported, the GBS surveillance data has the potential to act as a reasonably reliable proxy for inferring the true ZIKV epidemics. We developed a mathematical model incorporating weather effects to study the ZIKV-GBS epidemics and estimated the key epidemiological parameters. It was found that the attack rate of ZIKV was likely to be lower than 33% over the two epidemic waves. The risk rate from symptomatic ZIKV case to develop GBS was estimated to be approximately 0.0061%. The analysis suggests that it would be difficult for another ZIKV outbreak to appear in Northeastern Brazil in the near future.

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<![CDATA[Clinical role, optimal timing and frequency of serum infliximab and anti-infliximab antibody level measurements in patients with inflammatory bowel disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc1f4

Background

Serum infliximab (IFX) and antibody-to-infliximab (ATI) levels are objective parameters, that may have a great role in the therapeutic decisions during maintenance biological therapy.

Research design and methods

48 inflammatory bowel disease patients receiving maintenance IFX therapy were prospectively enrolled and divided into adequate (complete remission N = 20) and inadequate responder (partial response, loss of response, dose escalation; N = 28) groups. Blood samples were collected just before (trough level, TL) and two (W2aTL) and six weeks (W6aTL) after the administration of IFX.

Results

Single measurement of ATI titer was insufficient for predicting therapeutic response due to transient expression of ATI, however, using the three points’ measurements, significant difference has been detected between the adequate and inadequate responder group (5.0% vs 35.7%; p = 0.016). The mean value of TL was significantly higher in the adequate responder group (3.11±1.64 vs.1.19±1.11; p<0.001) without further difference on the second and sixth week. Sensitivity and specificity for predicting the therapeutic response were 85.0% and 71.4% based on the cut-off value of TL 2.0 μg/ml.

Conclusion

Simultaneous measurement of serum IFX level prior to administration of regular IFX infusion and ATI titers significantly increase the diagnostic accuracy for the therapeutic decision in patients uncertainly responding to the therapy. The measurement of W2aTL and W6aTL levels did not result in further improvement in the prediction of therapeutic response.

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<![CDATA[A novel nonsense variant in SUPT20H gene associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis identified by Whole Exome Sequencing of multiplex families]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8acceed5eed0c48499036b

The triggering and development of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is conditioned by environmental and genetic factors. Despite the identification of more than one hundred genetic variants associated with the disease, not all the cases can be explained. Here, we performed Whole Exome Sequencing in 9 multiplex families (N = 30) to identify rare variants susceptible to play a role in the disease pathogenesis. We pre-selected 77 genes which carried rare variants with a complete segregation with RA in the studied families. Follow-up linkage and association analyses with pVAAST highlighted significant RA association of 43 genes (p-value < 0.05 after 106 permutations) and pinpointed their most likely causal variant. We re-sequenced the 10 most significant likely causal variants (p-value ≤ 3.78*10−3 after 106 permutations) in the extended pedigrees and 9 additional multiplex families (N = 110). Only one SNV in SUPT20H: c.73A>T (p.Lys25*), presented a complete segregation with RA in an extended pedigree with early-onset cases. In summary, we identified in this study a new variant associated with RA in SUPT20H gene. This gene belongs to several biological pathways like macro-autophagy and monocyte/macrophage differentiation, which contribute to RA pathogenesis. In addition, these results showed that analyzing rare variants using a family-based approach is a strategy that allows to identify RA risk loci, even with a small dataset.

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<![CDATA[High-resolution contrast-enhanced vessel wall imaging in patients with suspected cerebral vasculitis: Prospective comparison of whole-brain 3D T1 SPACE versus 2D T1 black blood MRI at 3 Tesla]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8c1948d5eed0c484b4d33a

Purpose

Vessel wall imaging (VWI) using T1 dark blood MRI can depict inflammation of intracranial arteries in patients with cerebral vasculitis. Recently, 3D VWI sequences were introduced at 3 Tesla. We aimed to compare 2D and 3D VWI for detection of intracranial vessel wall enhancement (VWE) in patients suspected of cerebral vasculitis.

Methods

44 MRI scans of 39 patients were assessed that included bi-planar 2D T1 and whole-brain 3D T1 SPACE dark blood VWI pre and post contrast. Visibility and VWE were analyzed in 31 pre-specified intracranial artery segments. Additionally, leptomeningeal and parenchymal contrast enhancement was assessed.

Results

Overall, more arterial segments were visualized with 3D VWI (p<0.0001). Detection of VWE showed fair agreement between 2D and 3D VWI (κ = 0.583). On segmental level, more VWE was detected in intradural ICA by 2D VWI (p<0.001) and in VA V4 segment by 3D VWI (p<0.05). 3D VWI showed more leptomeningeal (p<0.05) and parenchymal (p<0.01) contrast enhancement. In patients with positive diagnosis of cerebral vasculitis, sensitivity was of 67% (2D and 3D VWI) and specificity was 44% (2D VWI) and 48% (3D VWI); more VWE was seen in arteries distal to VA and ICA compared to non-vasculitic patients.

Conclusion

2D and 3D VWI differed in the ability to detect VWE. Whole brain coverage with better evaluability of VAs and distal intracranial artery segments, and depiction of more parenchymal and leptomeningeal enhancement make 3D VWI more favorable. As VWE in arteries distal to VA and ICA may be used for discrimination of vasculitic and non-vasculitic patients, future increase in spatial resolution of 3D VWI sequences may be beneficial.

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<![CDATA[Combination of colonoscopy and magnetic resonance enterography is more useful for clinical decision making than colonoscopy alone in patients with complicated Crohn's disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe3fd5eed0c484e5b78a

Background/aims

The small bowel is affected in more than half of patients with Crohn’s disease (CD) at the time of diagnosis, and small bowel involvement has a negative impact on the long-term outcome. Many patients reportedly have active lesions in the small intestine even in patients in clinical remission. This study was performed to compare findings of magnetic resonance enterography (MRE) and ileocolonoscopy.

Methods

A single-center retrospective study was conducted in 50 patients (60 imaging series) with CD, for whom MRE was additionally performed during the bowel preparation for subsequent ileocolonoscopy. Endoscopic remission was defined as a Simple Endoscopic Score for CD (SES-CD) of <5. MRE remission was defined as a Magnetic Resonance Index of Activity (MaRIA) score of <50. The time to treatment escalation was assessed by the log-rank test.

Results

Importantly, 7 of 29 patients (24.1%) with endoscopic remission had a MaRIA score of ≥50. Both SES-CD and MaRIA correlated with the need for treatment escalation (P = 0.025, P = 0.009, respectively). MRE predicted the need for treatment escalation even in patients with endoscopic remission. Although no correlation was present between SES-CD and MaRIA score in patients with structuring/penetrating disease, or insufficient ileal insertion (<10cm), a high MaRIA score still correlated with the need for treatment escalation in stricturing or penetrating disease (P = 0.0306).

Conclusions

The MaRIA score predicts the need for treatment escalation even in patients with endoscopic remission, indicating that addition of MRE to conventional ileocolonoscopy alone can be a useful, noninvasive tool for monitoring CD especially in stricturing or penetrating disease.

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<![CDATA[Low dose naltrexone: Effects on medication in rheumatoid and seropositive arthritis. A nationwide register-based controlled quasi-experimental before-after study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f14fad5eed0c48467abf4

In recent years, low dose naltrexone (LDN) has been used as an off-label therapy for several chronic diseases. Results from small laboratory and clinical studies indicate some beneficial effects of LDN in autoimmune diseases, but clinical research on LDN in rheumatic disease is limited. Using a pharmacoepidemiological approach, we wanted to test the hypothesis that starting LDN leads to reduced dispensing of medicines used in the treatment of rheumatic disease. We performed a controlled before-after study based on the Norwegian Prescription Database (NorPD) to compare prescriptions to patients one year before and one year after starting LDN in 2013. The identified patients (n = 360) were stratified into three groups based on LDN exposure. Outcomes were differences in dispensing of medicines used in rheumatic disease. In persistent LDN users, there was a 13% relative reduction in cumulative defined daily doses (DDD) of all medicines examined corresponding to -73.3 DDD per patient (95% CI -120,2 to -26.4, p = 0.003), and 23% reduction of analgesics (-21.6 DDD (95% CI -35.5 to -7.6, p<0.009)). There was no significant DDD change in patients with lower LDN exposure. Persistent LDN users had significantly reduced DDDs of NSAID and opioids, and a lower proportion of users of DMARDs (-6.7 percentage points, 95% CI -12.3 to-1.0, p = 0.028), TNF-α antagonists and opioids. There was a decrease in the number of NSAID users among patients with the least LDN exposure. Important limitations are that prescription data are proxies for clinical effects and that a control group unexposed to LDN is lacking. The results support the hypothesis that persistent use of LDN reduces the need for medication used in the treatment of rheumatic and seropositive arthritis. Randomised clinical trials on LDN in rheumatic disease are warranted.

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<![CDATA[Localization of near-infrared labeled antibodies to the central nervous system in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c706776d5eed0c4847c7081

Antibodies, including antibodies to the RNA binding protein heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1, have been shown to contribute to the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis, thus it is important to assess their biological activity using animal models of disease. Near-infrared optical imaging of fluorescently labeled antibodies and matrix metalloproteinase activity were measured and quantified in an animal model of multiple sclerosis, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. We successfully labeled, imaged and quantified the fluorescence signal of antibodies that localized to the central nervous system of mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Fluorescently labeled anti-heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1 antibodies persisted in the central nervous system of mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, colocalized with matrix metalloproteinase activity, correlated with clinical disease and shifted rostrally within the spinal cord, consistent with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis being an ascending paralysis. The fluorescent antibody signal also colocalized with matrix metalloproteinase activity in brain. Previous imaging studies in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis analyzed inflammatory markers such as cellular immune responses, dendritic cell activity, blood brain barrier integrity and myelination, but none assessed fluorescently labeled antibodies within the central nervous system. This data suggests a strong association between autoantibody localization and disease. This system can be used to detect other antibodies that might contribute to the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases of the central nervous system including multiple sclerosis.

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<![CDATA[Epigenome-wide analysis of sperm cells identifies IL22 as a possible germ line risk locus for psoriatic arthritis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75ac57d5eed0c484d085ff

Psoriasis and its associated inflammatory arthritis, psoriatic arthritis (PsA), have a clear heritable component, but a large proportion of the heritable risk remains unexplained by gene sequence variation. This study aimed to determine if epigenetic factors contribute to the missing heritability in psoriatic disease. DNA methylation profiling was performed on sperm cells from 23 probands with psoriasis without PsA (PsC), 13 PsA probands, and 18 unaffected controls. Differentially methylated CpGs and regions (DMRs) were identified and validated by pyrosequencing. Underlying AluY and copy number variation (CNV) in the HCG26 and IL22 genes, respectively, were assessed by genotyping. Array, subject’s age, age of psoriasis onset, psoriasis severity, and medication usage were found to influence methylation at many genes and were included as covariates in the analysis. Between PsC probands vs. controls, 169 DMRs were found; 754 DMRs were found between PsA probands vs. controls, and 86 between PsA and PsC probands (adjusted p<0.05). Differences in methylation across DMRs were generally subtle (<10%) but correlated well with pyrosequencing. Biological inference prioritized notable DMRs associated with skin disease (SIGLEC14, JAM3, PCOLCE, RXRB), skin and/or joint disease (MBP, OSBPL5, SNORD115, HCG26), and joint disease (IL22, ELF5, PPP2R2D, PTPRN2, HCG26). Hypermethylation of the DMR within the first exon of arthritis-associated IL22 showed significant correlation (rho = 0.34, 95% CI 0.06–0.57, p = 0.01) between paired sperm and blood samples, independent of a CNV within the same region. Further studies are needed to rule out underlying genetic causes and determine if these represent heritable, constitutional epimutations, or are the result of exposure of germ cells to endogenous or exogenous environmental factors.

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<![CDATA[Baseline high-sensitivity C-reactive protein predicts the risk of incident ankylosing spondylitis: Results of a community-based prospective study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c706756d5eed0c4847c6e7f

Background

A hospitalized-based cohort study suggested that elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) levels are associated with radiographic sacroiliitis progression in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients. However, data from community-based populations are limited.

Objective

We sought to determine the association between elevated CRP levels and AS diagnosis in a prospective community-based study of 129,681 Chinese adults over a follow-up period of 8 years.

Methods

We measured the plasma CRP concentration at baseline and every 2 years thereafter with the high-sensitivity (hs)-CRP test. Incident AS cases were confirmed on the basis of modified New York diagnostic criteria after review of medical records. We used Cox proportional-hazard models to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for AS on the basis of hs-CRP concentrations, adjusting for age, sex, education, income, cigarette smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity, body mass index, blood-pressure status, blood glucose status, total cholesterol, history of cardiovascular disease, and use of antihypertensives, lipid-lowering agents, and aspirin.

Results

During 1,033,609 person-years (average 7.97 ± 1.36 years per person) of follow-up, we identified 55 incident AS cases. Baseline hs-CRP was positively associated with the risk of future AS. Compared with hs-CRP <1 mg/L, the HR was 1.28 (95% CI 0.54–3.08) for hs-CRP of 1.00–2.99 mg/L, 4.71 (95% CI 2.26–9.81) for hs-CRP of 3.00–9.99 mg/L, and 19.8 (95% CI 9.6–40.9) for hs-CRP ≥10.00 mg/L (P-trend <0.001) after adjustment for potential confounders. We found similar results after excluding AS cases that occurred in the first 2 years of follow-up, and using the cumulative average hs-CRP concentration as a predictor.

Conclusion

This is the first study in a community-based cohort to demonstrate that CRP plasma concentrations predict the risk of future AS, thus providing a test that is easy to routinely perform in the clinic to assess for AS risk.

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<![CDATA[Efficient design and analysis of randomized controlled trials in rare neurological diseases: An example in Guillain-Barré syndrome]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe48d5eed0c484e5b7f7

Background

Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) pose specific challenges in rare and heterogeneous neurological diseases due to the small numbers of patients and heterogeneity in disease course. Two analytical approaches have been proposed to optimally handle these issues in RCTs: covariate adjustment and ordinal analysis. We investigated the potential gain in efficiency of these approaches in rare and heterogeneous neurological diseases, using Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) as an example.

Methods

We analyzed two published GBS trials with primary outcome ‘at least one grade improvement’ on the GBS disability scale. We estimated the treatment effect using logistic regression models with and without adjustment for prognostic factors. The difference between the unadjusted and adjusted estimates was disentangled in imbalance (random differences in baseline covariates between treatment arms) and stratification (change of the estimate due to covariate adjustment). Second, we applied proportional odds regression, which exploits the ordinal nature of the GBS disability score. The standard error of the estimated treatment effect indicated the statistical efficiency.

Results

Both trials were slightly imbalanced with respect to baseline characteristics, which was corrected in the adjusted analysis. Covariate adjustment increased the estimated treatment effect in the two trials by 8% and 18% respectively. Proportional odds analysis resulted in lower standard errors indicating more statistical power.

Conclusion

Covariate adjustment and proportional odds analysis most efficiently use the available data and ensure balance between the treatment arms to obtain reliable and valid treatment effect estimates. These approaches merit application in future trials in rare and heterogeneous neurological diseases like GBS.

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<![CDATA[Association of physical fitness components and health-related quality of life in women with systemic lupus erythematosus with mild disease activity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe31d5eed0c484e5b6cc

Objectives

To study the association of different components of physical fitness [flexibility, muscle strength and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF)] and a clustered fitness score with health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and to analyze whether participants with high fitness level have better HRQoL.

Methods

This cross-sectional study included 70 women with SLE (aged 42.5; SD 13.9 years). The back-scratch test assessed flexibility, the 30-sec chair stand and handgrip strength tests assessed muscle strength, and the 6-min walk test (n = 49) assessed CRF. HRQoL was assessed through the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36).

Results

Flexibility was positively associated with the physical function dimension and the physical component summary (PCS) (rpartial between 0.26 and 0.31; p<0.05), and negatively related with social functioning dimension (rpartial = -0.26; p<0.05). Muscle strength was positively associated with the physical function, physical role, bodily pain dimensions and the PCS (rpartial between 0.27 and 0.49; all p<0.05). CRF was positively associated with the physical function and bodily pain dimensions, and PCS (rpartial between 0.39 and 0.65; all p<0.05). The clustered fitness score was associated with the physical function (B = 17.16) and bodily pain (B = 14.35) dimensions, and the PCS (B = 6.02), all p<0.005. Patients with high fitness level had greater scores in the physical function, physical role, and bodily pain dimensions and the PCS, all p≤0.05.

Conclusions

Our study suggests that muscle strength and CRF are positively associated with HRQoL, while flexibility showed contradictory results. These findings highlight the importance of maintaining adequate fitness levels in women with SLE.

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<![CDATA[A genetic variant associated with multiple sclerosis inversely affects the expression of CD58 and microRNA-548ac from the same gene]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c65dcb0d5eed0c484dec049

Genome-wide association studies have identified more than 200 genetic variants to be associated with an increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS). Still, little is known about the causal molecular mechanisms that underlie the genetic contribution to disease susceptibility. In this study, we investigated the role of the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs1414273, which is located within the microRNA-548ac stem-loop sequence in the first intron of the CD58 gene. We conducted an expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) analysis based on public RNA-sequencing and microarray data of blood-derived cells of more than 1000 subjects. Additionally, CD58 transcripts and mature hsa-miR-548ac molecules were measured using real-time PCR in peripheral blood samples of 32 MS patients. Cell culture experiments were performed to evaluate the efficiency of Drosha-mediated stem-loop processing dependent on genotype and to determine the target genes of this underexplored microRNA. Across different global populations and data sets, carriers of the MS risk allele showed reduced CD58 mRNA levels but increased hsa-miR-548ac levels. We provide evidence that the SNP rs1414273 might alter Drosha cleavage activity, thereby provoking partial uncoupling of CD58 gene expression and microRNA-548ac production from the shared primary transcript in immune cells. Moreover, the microRNA was found to regulate genes, which participate in inflammatory processes and in controlling the balance of protein folding and degradation. We thus uncovered new regulatory implications of the MS-associated haplotype of the CD58 gene locus, and we remind that paradoxical findings can be encountered in the analysis of eQTLs upon data aggregation. Our study illustrates that a better understanding of RNA processing events might help to establish the functional nature of genetic variants, which predispose to inflammatory and neurological diseases.

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<![CDATA[Subclinical atherosclerosis in psoriasis. Usefulness of femoral artery ultrasound for the diagnosis, and analysis of its relationship with insulin resistance]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6730cfd5eed0c484f38183

Background

Psoriasis is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) at younger ages that is not identifiable by traditional risk factors. Screening for subclinical atherosclerosis with ultrasound has only been investigated in carotid arteries. Femoral artery ultrasound has never been considered for this purpose. The link between psoriasis and accelerated atherosclerosis has not yet been established.

Objective

To study the usefulness of femoral artery ultrasound for the detection of subclinical atherosclerosis in psoriasis. We also investigated its possible relationship with changes in insulin resistance.

Methods

We conducted a cross-sectional study in 140 participants, 70 patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis and 70 healthy controls, matched 1:1 for age, sex, and BMI. Femoral and carotid atherosclerotic plaques were evaluated by ultrasonography. Insulin resistance was assessed by the homeostasis model assessment method (HOMA-IR).

Results

Femoral atherosclerotic plaque prevalence was significantly higher in patients with psoriasis (44.64%) than in controls (19.07%) (p<0.005), but no significant difference was found in carotid plaque prevalence (p<0.3). Femoral plaques were significantly more prevalent than carotid plaques (21.42%) among patients with psoriasis (p<0.001). In the regression analysis, insulin resistance was the most influential determinant of atherosclerosis in psoriasis and C-reactive protein the most significant predictor of insulin resistance.

Conclusions

Ultrasound screening for femoral atherosclerotic plaques improves the detection of subclinical atherosclerosis in patients with psoriasis, whereas the study of carotid arteries is not sufficiently accurate. Insulin resistance appears to play a greater role in the development of atherosclerosis in these patients in comparison to other classical CVD risk factors.

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<![CDATA[TIM family gene polymorphism and susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis: Systematic review and meta-analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c65dcedd5eed0c484dec596

Background

TIM-family proteins are expressed on different immune cells such as dendritic cells, macrophages, type 1 and 2 T helper (Th) cells. Therefore, they have the ability to contribute to the various intracellular signals and immune responses, importantly the regulation of Th1 and Th17 cell differentiation, which plays a remarked role in fight against inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Association of TIM family gene polymorphisms with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has been frequently investigated. The findings however are not entirely consistent. Therefore, we carried out the present meta-analysis to examine the association between RA and the following TIM family gene polymorphisms: rs41297579, rs1036199, rs10515746, and rs7700944.

Methods

A systematic search of Scopus, PubMed, and Web of Science databases was conducted through December 2018. Combined odds ratios (OR) with their corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated under different possible genetic models.

Results

A total of eight case-control studies were included in the present meta-analysis. The results demonstrated significant association of RA with TIM-3 rs1036199 polymorphism under dominant (OR, 1.93, 95% CI, 1.43–2.61) and allelic models (OR, 1.74, 95% CI, 1.31–2.30). None of the other examined polymorphisms indicated significant association with RA.

Conclusions

The present meta-analysis revealed that the TIM-3 rs1036199 polymorphism might confer susceptibility to RA. Further studies are required to reassert our findings.

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<![CDATA[Serum Axl predicts histology-based response to induction therapy and long-term renal outcome in lupus nephritis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b261bd5eed0c484289315

Axl is a receptor tyrosine kinase with important functions in immune regulation. We investigated serum levels of soluble (s)Axl in lupus nephritis (LN) in association with renal disease activity, tissue damage and treatment response. We surveyed 52 patients with International Society of Nephrology/Renal Pathology Society (ISN/RPS) class III/IV LN and 20 healthy controls. Renal biopsies were performed at the time of active LN and post-treatment. Patients were classified as clinical responders (CRs) or clinical non-responders based on the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria. Improvement by ≥50% in renal activity index scores defined histological responders (HRs). sAxl levels were elevated in patients compared to controls (median: 18.9 ng/mL), both at baseline (median: 45.7; P<0.001) and post-treatment (median: 41.2 ng/mL; P<0.001). Baseline sAxl levels were higher in patients with class IV (median: 47.7 ng/mL) versus class III (median: 37.5 ng/mL) nephritis (P = 0.008), and showed moderate correlations with albuminuria (r = 0.30, P = 0.030) and creatinine (r = 0.35, P = 0.010). Baseline sAxl levels decreased in CRs (P = 0.002) and HRs (P<0.001), but not in non-responders; levels ≥36.6 ng/mL yielded a >5 times higher probability of histology-based response (odds ratio, OR: 5.5; 95% confidence interval, CI: 1.2–25.1). High post-treatment sAxl levels were associated with worsening in chronicity index scores (P = 0.025); low levels predicted favourable renal outcome (creatinine ≤88.4 μmol/L) 10 years after the baseline renal biopsy (area under the curve: 0.71; 95% CI: 0.54–0.89). In conclusion, sAxl may prove useful as a marker of renal activity, histological response to immunosuppression, and renal damage progression in LN. Persistently high sAxl levels after completion of treatment may be indicative of a need for treatment intensification.

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<![CDATA[Should clinicians pay more attention to the potential underdiagnosis of osteoporosis in patients with ankylosing spondylitis? A national population-based study in Taiwan]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648d58d5eed0c484c82627

Objectives

There are limited studies describing the association between ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and osteoporosis. We conducted a nationwide retrospective cohort study to investigate this epidemiologic evidence.

Methods

Data were obtained from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD). Of 10,290 participants, 2,058 patients with AS and 8,232 patients without AS were enrolled from the NHIRD between 2000 to 2013. Cumulative incidences of osteoporosis were compared between 2 groups. Cox regression model was used to estimate the hazard ratio (HR) of developing osteoporosis after controlling for demographic and other co-morbidities, and subgroup analyses were conducted to examine the risk factors for osteoporosis in AS patients.

Results

The incidence rate ratio (IRR) of osteoporosis in AS patients was 2.17 times higher than that non-AS group (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.83–2.57). The adjusted HRs of osteoporosis for AS patients after controlling for demographic characteristics and comorbid medical disorders was 1.99 (95% CI 1.68–2.36). Among AS group, after adjustment for major comorbidities, old age (≥65 years, HR 4.32, 95% CI 3.01–6.18), female sex (HR 2.48, 95% CI 1.87–3.28), dyslipidemia (HR 1.44, 95% CI 1.01–2.06) were risk factors associated with osteoporosis.

Conclusions

This cohort study demonstrated that patients with AS had a higher risk of developing osteoporosis, especially in those aged over 65, female sex and with dyslipidemia in this patient group.

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<![CDATA[Does prior dengue virus exposure worsen clinical outcomes of Zika virus infection? A systematic review, pooled analysis and lessons learned]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e689d5eed0c484ef3602

Zika virus (ZIKV) recently caused a pandemic complicated by Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) and birth defects. ZIKV is structurally similar to the dengue viruses (DENV) and in vitro studies suggest antibody dependent enhancement occurs in ZIKV infections preceded by DENV; however, the clinical significance of this remains unclear. We undertook a PRISMA-adherent systematic review of all current human and non-human primate (NHP) data to determine if prior infection with DENV, compared to DENV-naïve hosts, is associated with a greater risk of ZIKV clinical complications or greater ZIKV peak viremia in vivo. We identified 1146 studies in MEDLINE, EMBASE and the grey literature, of which five studies were eligible. One human study indicated no increase in the risk of GBS in ZIKV infections with prior DENV exposure. Two additional human studies showed a small increase in ZIKV viremia in those with prior DENV exposure; however, this was not statistically significant nor was it associated with an increase in clinical severity or adverse pregnancy outcomes. While no meta-analysis was possible using human data, a pooled analysis of the two NHP studies leveraging extended data provided only weak evidence of a 0.39 log10 GE/mL rise in ZIKV viremia in DENV experienced rhesus macaques compared to those with no DENV exposure (p = 0.22). Using a customized quality grading criteria, we further show that no existing published human studies have offered high quality measurement of both acute ZIKV and antecedent DENV infections. In conclusion, limited human and NHP studies indicate a small and non-statistically significant increase in ZIKV viremia in DENV-experienced versus DENV-naïve hosts; however, there is no evidence that even a possible small increase in ZIKV viremia would correlate with a change in ZIKV clinical phenotype. More data derived from larger sample sizes and improved sero-assays are needed to resolve this question, which has major relevance for clinical prognosis and vaccine design.

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<![CDATA[Admixture mapping reveals evidence of differential multiple sclerosis risk by genetic ancestry]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c4a3058d5eed0c4844bfdb6

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease with high prevalence among populations of northern European ancestry. Past studies have shown that exposure to ultraviolet radiation could explain the difference in MS prevalence across the globe. In this study, we investigate whether the difference in MS prevalence could be explained by European genetic risk factors. We characterized the ancestry of MS-associated alleles using RFMix, a conditional random field parameterized by random forests, to estimate their local ancestry in the largest assembled admixed population to date, with 3,692 African Americans, 4,915 Asian Americans, and 3,777 Hispanics. The majority of MS-associated human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles, including the prominent HLA-DRB1*15:01 risk allele, exhibited cosmopolitan ancestry. Ancestry-specific MS-associated HLA alleles were also identified. Analysis of the HLA-DRB1*15:01 risk allele in African Americans revealed that alleles on the European haplotype conferred three times the disease risk compared to those on the African haplotype. Furthermore, we found evidence that the European and African HLA-DRB1*15:01 alleles exhibit single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) differences in regions encoding the HLA-DRB1 antigen-binding heterodimer. Additional evidence for increased risk of MS conferred by the European haplotype were found for HLA-B*07:02 and HLA-A*03:01 in African Americans. Most of the 200 non-HLA MS SNPs previously established in European populations were not significantly associated with MS in admixed populations, nor were they ancestrally more European in cases compared to controls. Lastly, a genome-wide search of association between European ancestry and MS revealed a region of interest close to the ZNF596 gene on chromosome 8 in Hispanics; cases had a significantly higher proportion of European ancestry compared to controls. In conclusion, our study established that the genetic ancestry of MS-associated alleles is complex and implicated that difference in MS prevalence could be explained by the ancestry of MS-associated alleles.

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<![CDATA[Evidence of a causal relationship between body mass index and psoriasis: A mendelian randomization study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca31cd5eed0c48441f191

Background

Psoriasis is a common inflammatory skin disease that has been reported to be associated with obesity. We aimed to investigate a possible causal relationship between body mass index (BMI) and psoriasis.

Methods and findings

Following a review of published epidemiological evidence of the association between obesity and psoriasis, mendelian randomization (MR) was used to test for a causal relationship with BMI. We used a genetic instrument comprising 97 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with BMI as a proxy for BMI (expected to be much less confounded than measured BMI). One-sample MR was conducted using individual-level data (396,495 individuals) from the UK Biobank and the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT), Norway. Two-sample MR was performed with summary-level data (356,926 individuals) from published BMI and psoriasis genome-wide association studies (GWASs). The one-sample and two-sample MR estimates were meta-analysed using a fixed-effect model. To test for a potential reverse causal effect, MR analysis with genetic instruments comprising variants from recent genome-wide analyses for psoriasis were used to test whether genetic risk for this skin disease has a causal effect on BMI.

Published observational data showed an association of higher BMI with psoriasis. A mean difference in BMI of 1.26 kg/m2 (95% CI 1.02–1.51) between psoriasis cases and controls was observed in adults, while a 1.55 kg/m2 mean difference (95% CI 1.13–1.98) was observed in children. The observational association was confirmed in UK Biobank and HUNT data sets. Overall, a 1 kg/m2 increase in BMI was associated with 4% higher odds of psoriasis (meta-analysis odds ratio [OR] = 1.04; 95% CI 1.03–1.04; P = 1.73 × 10−60). MR analyses provided evidence that higher BMI causally increases the odds of psoriasis (by 9% per 1 unit increase in BMI; OR = 1.09 (1.06–1.12) per 1 kg/m2; P = 4.67 × 10−9). In contrast, MR estimates gave little support to a possible causal effect of psoriasis genetic risk on BMI (0.004 kg/m2 change in BMI per doubling odds of psoriasis (−0.003 to 0.011). Limitations of our study include possible misreporting of psoriasis by patients, as well as potential misdiagnosis by clinicians. In addition, there is also limited ethnic variation in the cohorts studied.

Conclusions

Our study, using genetic variants as instrumental variables for BMI, provides evidence that higher BMI leads to a higher risk of psoriasis. This supports the prioritization of therapies and lifestyle interventions aimed at controlling weight for the prevention or treatment of this common skin disease. Mechanistic studies are required to improve understanding of this relationship.

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