ResearchPad - clinical-immunology https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Likely questionnaire-diagnosed food allergy in 78, 890 adults from the northern Netherlands]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13854 It is challenging to define likely food allergy (FA) in large populations which limited the number of large studies regarding risk factors for FA.ObjectiveWe studied the prevalence and characteristics of self-reported FA (s-rFA) in the large, population-based Dutch Lifelines cohort and identified associated risk factors.MethodsLikely food allergic cases (LikelyFA) were classified based on questionnaire reported characteristics consistent with FA. Subjects with atypical characteristics were classified as Indeterminate. We investigated 13 potential risk factors for LikelyFA such as birth mode and living on a farm and addressed health-related quality of life (H-RQOL).ResultsOf the 78, 890 subjects, 12.1% had s-rFA of which 4.0% and 8.1% were classified as LikelyFA and Indeterminate, respectively. Younger age, female sex, asthma, eczema and nasal allergy increased the risk of LikelyFA (p-value range <1.00*10−250–1.29*10−7). Living in a small city/large village or suburb during childhood was associated with a higher risk of LikelyFA than living on a farm (p-value = 7.81*10−4 and p = 4.84*10−4, respectively). Subjects classified as Indeterminate more often reported depression and burn-out compared to those without FA (p-value = 1.46*10−4 and p = 8.39*10−13, respectively). No association was found with ethnicity, (duration of) breastfeeding, birth mode and reported eating disorder. Mental and physical component scores measuring H-RQOL were lower in both those classified as LikelyFA and Indeterminate compared to those without FA.ConclusionThe prevalence of s-rFA among adults is considerable and one-third reports characteristics consistent with LikelyFA. Living on a farm decreased the risk of LikelyFA. The association of poorer H-RQOL as well as depression and burn-out with questionable self-perceived FA is striking and a priority for future study. ]]> <![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[Hospital preparedness for COVID-19 pandemic: experience from department of medicine at Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10285 The 2019–2020 pandemic Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has inundated hospital systems globally, as they prepare to accommodate surge of patients requiring advanced levels of care. Pandemic preparedness has not been this urgently and widely needed in the last several decades. According to epidemiologic predictions, the peak of this pandemic has still not been reached, and hospitals everywhere need to ensure readiness to care for more patients than they usually do, and safety for healthcare workers who strive to save lives. We share our hospital-wide rapid preparedness and response to COVID-19 to help provide information to other healthcare systems globally.

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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[A Novel HIV Vaccine Adjuvanted by IC31 Induces Robust and Persistent Humoral and Cellular Immunity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab9ab0ee8fa60badf30

The HIV vaccine strategy that, to date, generated immune protection consisted of a prime-boost regimen using a canarypox vector and an HIV envelope protein with alum, as shown in the RV144 trial. Since the efficacy was weak, and previous HIV vaccine trials designed to generate antibody responses failed, we hypothesized that generation of T cell responses would result in improved protection. Thus, we tested the immunogenicity of a similar envelope-based vaccine using a mouse model, with two modifications: a clade C CN54gp140 HIV envelope protein was adjuvanted by the TLR9 agonist IC31®, and the viral vector was the vaccinia strain NYVAC-CN54 expressing HIV envelope gp120. The use of IC31® facilitated immunoglobulin isotype switching, leading to the production of Env-specific IgG2a, as compared to protein with alum alone. Boosting with NYVAC-CN54 resulted in the generation of more robust Th1 T cell responses. Moreover, gp140 prime with IC31® and alum followed by NYVAC-CN54 boost resulted in the formation and persistence of central and effector memory populations in the spleen and an effector memory population in the gut. Our data suggest that this regimen is promising and could improve the protection rate by eliciting strong and long-lasting humoral and cellular immune responses.

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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[Elevated Plasma Surfactant Protein D (SP-D) Levels and a Direct Correlation with Anti-severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-specific IgG Antibody in SARS Patients]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N3830967a-e73c-40f6-95a0-5a32d33e57e7

Abstract

Pulmonary SP‐D is a defence lectin promoting clearance of viral infections. SP‐D is recognized to bind the S protein of SARS‐CoV and enhance phagocytosis. Moreover, systemic SP‐D is widely used as a biomarker of alveolar integrity. We investigated the relation between plasma SP‐D, SARS‐type pneumonia and the SARS‐specific IgG response. Sixteen patients with SARS, 19 patients with community‐acquired pneumonia (CAP) (Streptococcus pneumonia) and 16 healthy control subjects were enrolled in the study. Plasma SP‐D and anti‐SARS‐CoV N protein IgG were measured using ELISA. SP‐D was significantly elevated in SARS‐type pneumonia [median (95% CI), 453 (379–963) ng/ml versus controls 218 (160–362) ng/ml, P < 0.05] like in patients with CAP. SP‐D significantly correlated with anti‐SARS‐CoV N protein IgG (r 2 = 0.5995, P = 0.02). The possible re‐emergence of SARS or SARS‐like infections suggests a need for minimal traumatic techniques for following the alveolar compartment, e.g. during testing of antivirals. We suggest that monitoring systemic SP‐D may be useful in monitoring the alveolar integrity in SARS‐type pneumonia. The significant correlation between plasma SP‐D and anti‐SARS‐CoV‐specific antibodies support the role for SP‐D in interlinking innate and adaptive immune pathways.

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<![CDATA[Early Enhanced Expression of Interferon-Inducible Protein-10 (CXCL-10) and Other Chemokines Predicts Adverse Outcome in Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N8b4d3203-dc6b-46cd-84a0-29d212d4c4bf

Abstract

Background: Exaggerated activation of cytokines/chemokines has been proposed as a factor in adverse outcome of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Previous studies on chemokines have included only small numbers of patients, and the utility of plasma chemokines as prognostic indicators is unclear.

Methods: We studied 255 archival plasma samples collected during the first or second week after disease onset. The chemokines interferon-inducible protein-10 (IP-10), monokine induced by interferon-γ (MIG), interleukin-8 (IL-8), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), and regulated upon activation normal T cell expressed and secreted (RANTES) were measured by cytometric bead array with a 4-color FACSCalibur flow cytometer. Reverse transcription and real-time quantitative PCR and immunohistochemical staining were performed to analyze the production of IP-10 in lung tissue at autopsy. Conditional logistic regression was used to identify independent predictors for adverse disease outcome.

Results: Increases in IP-10, MIG, and IL-8 during the first week after onset of fever were associated with adverse outcome (intensive care unit admission or death) in the univariate analysis. During the second week, only MIG concentration was associated with prognosis. After adjusting for other risk factors, plasma IP-10 concentration at the first week remained as an independent prognostic factor, with an odds ratio for adverse outcome of 1.52 (95% confidence interval, 1.05–2.55) per fold increase in plasma IP-10 concentration above the median. During the second week, chemokines provided little independent prognostic information. IP-10 was increased in lung tissue from patients who died of SARS.

Conclusions: Increased plasma IP-10 during the first week of SARS symptoms is an independent predictor of outcome. Chemokine activation may be an early event in SARS, and an exaggerated host response may produce complications.

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<![CDATA[Synthetic Peptide Studies on the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Coronavirus Spike Glycoprotein: Perspective for SARS Vaccine Development]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nadc4f9d0-97ef-494b-acf7-b572889c5231

Abstract

Background: The S (spike) protein of the etiologic coronavirus (CoV) agent of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) plays a central role in mediating viral infection via receptor binding and membrane fusion between the virion and the host cell. We focused on using synthetic peptides for developing antibodies against SARS-CoV, which aimed to block viral invasion by eliciting an immune response specific to the native SARS-CoV S protein.

Methods: Six peptide sequences corresponding to the surface regions of SARS-CoV S protein were designed and investigated by use of combined bioinformatics and structural analysis. These synthetic peptides were used to immunize both rabbits and monkeys. Antisera collected 1 week after the second immunization were analyzed by ELISA and tested for antibody specificity against SARS-CoV by immunofluorescent confocal microscopy.

Results: Four of our six synthetic peptides (S2, S3, S5, and S6) elicited SARS-CoV-specific antibodies, of which S5 (residues 788–820) and S6 (residues 1002–1030) exhibited immunogenic responses similar to those found in a parallel investigation using truncated recombinant protein analogs of the SARS-CoV S protein. This suggested that our S5 and S6 peptides may represent two minimum biologically active sequences of the immunogenic regions of the SARS-CoV S protein.

Conclusions: Synthetic peptides can elicit specific antibodies to SARS-CoV. The study provides insights for the future development of SARS vaccine via the synthetic-peptide-based approach.

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<![CDATA[Efficient recruitment of c‐FLIPL to the death‐inducing signaling complex leads to Fas resistance in natural killer‐cell lymphoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N00738760-a999-4c32-aa43-43e31ba23ffe

Abstract

Activation‐induced cell death (AICD) mediated by the Fas/Fas ligand (FasL) system plays a key role in regulating immune response. Although normal natural killer (NK) cells use this system for their homeostasis, malignant NK cells seem to disrupt the process. Extranodal NK/T‐cell lymphoma, nasal type (ENKL) is a rare but fatal disease, for which novel therapeutic targets need to be identified. We confirmed that ENKL‐derived NK cell lines NK‐YS and Hank1, and primary lymphoma cells expressed procaspase‐8/FADD‐like interleukin‐1β‐converting enzyme (FLICE) modulator and cellular FLICE‐inhibitory protein (c‐FLIP), along with Fas and FasL. Compared with Fas‐sensitive Jurkat cells, NK‐YS and Hank1 showed resistance to Fas‐mediated apoptosis in spite of the same expression levels of c‐FLIP and the death‐inducing signaling complex (DISC) formation. Unexpectedly, the long isoform of c‐FLIP (c‐FLIPL) was coimmunoprecipitated with Fas predominantly in both ENKL‐derived NK cell lines after Fas ligation. Indeed, c‐FLIPL was more sufficiently recruited to the DISC in both ENKL‐derived NK cell lines than in Jurkat cells after Fas ligation. Knockdown of c‐FLIPL per se enhanced autonomous cell death and restored the sensitivity to Fas in both NK‐YS and Hank1 cells. Although ENKL cells are primed for AICD, they constitutively express and efficiently utilize c‐FLIPL, which prevents their Fas‐mediated apoptosis. Our results show that c‐FLIPL could be a promising therapeutic target against ENKL.

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<![CDATA[Asymmetric dimethylarginine is not a marker of arterial damage in children with glomerular kidney diseases]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nb603e92c-dc95-488d-b95e-ab600244a633

Introduction

Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), an endogenous inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase, correlates with cardiovascular risk especially in patients with chronic kidney disease. The aim of our study was to establish significance of ADMA as a biomarker of arterial damage in children with glomerulopathies.

Material and methods

In 80 children with glomerulopathies (mean age, 11.33 ±4.25 years; 42 with idiopathic nephrotic syndrome [INS], 38 with IgA or Henoch-Schoenlein nephropathy [IgAN/HSN]), we analyzed serum ADMA [nmol/ml], peripheral and central blood pressure, arterial stiffness (augmentation index – AIx75HR, pulse wave velocity – PWV), common carotid artery intima media thickness (cIMT), and selected clinical and biochemical parameters.

Results

In the study group, mean ADMA concentration was 1.66 ±1.19 [nmol/ml] and did not differ between INS and IgAN/HSN patients. We found no significant correlations between concentration of ADMA, cIMT [mm]/Z-score, PWV [m/s]/Z-score, and AIx75HR [%] in the whole group and in INS and IgAN/HSN patients. In the whole group of 80 children, ADMA correlated (p < 0.05) with BMI Z-score (r = –0.24), uric acid (r = –0.23), HDL-cholesterol (r = –0.25), and central mean arterial pressure (r = –0.25), in children with INS also with total protein (r = 0.37), albumin (r = 0.36), and total cholesterol (r = –0.40, p = 0.028). In multivariate analysis, serum albumin was the strongest determinant of ADMA in the whole group (β = 0.536, 95% CI: 0.013-1.060, p = 0.045).

Conclusions

1. In children with glomerulonephritis, measurement of asymmetric dimethylarginine cannot replace well established and validated methods of assessment of subclinical arterial damage. 2. In children with glomerular kidney diseases, ADMA concentration is related primarily to serum albumin concentration.

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<![CDATA[Pathogen profile and MMP-3 levels in areas with varied attachment loss in generalized aggressive and chronic periodontitis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N22070074-6c60-4260-8726-71b2cfb9a271

Introduction

The progression of periodontitis depends on the changes in bone and connective tissue homeostasis and the imbalance of the biofilm and the host immunoinflammatory response, particularly matrix metalloproteinases (MMP).

Aim of the study

To assess the probable relation between subgingival anaerobic flora and the expression of MMP-3 in patients with generalized aggressive periodontitis (AgP), chronic periodontitis (CP) and healthy subjects, and to evaluate these levels according to varied tissue loss severity.

Material and methods

The plaque index (PI), gingival index (GI), probing depth (PD) and clinical attachment levels (CAL) were evaluated. MMP levels obtained from gingival sulcus fluid (GCF) were measured with Enzyme Linked Immuno Assay (ELISA). The bacterial counts were determined with Parocheck®.

Results

Higher levels of MMP-3 in patients with AgP compared to subjects with CP and healthy individuals were observed. The microorganisms responsible of possible tissue destruction in both AgP and CP are red complex bacteria. T. denticola, T. forsythia, P. intermedia and F. nucleatum show positive correlation with MMP-3 levels.

Conclusions

MMP-3 is a biomarker associated with AgP, and red complex bacteria levels are correlated with increasing periodontal tissue loss in both periodontitis forms. The diagnosis of aggressive periodontitis, or site-specific treatment strategies can be orchestrated based on the evaluation of MMP-3 and the bacterial counts in patients with periodontitis.

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<![CDATA[Differential effects of Th17 cytokines during the response of neutrophils to Burkholderia cenocepacia outer membrane protein A]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N24ef7a1c-6b22-450e-8eac-addd60aa351c

T helper 17 cells are involved in the immunopathology of cystic fibrosis. They play a key role in recruitment of neutrophils, which is the first line of defence against bacteria. Additionally, Burkholderia cenocepacia outer membrane protein A (OmpA) BCAL2958 is considered a potential protective epitope for vaccine development. The present study aimed to investigate the neutrophil response to OmpA in the presence of Th17 cytokines, IL-17 and IL-22 at different times of activation. Neutrophils were isolated from whole blood of healthy volunteers and activated with OmpA in the presence of IL-17, IL-22 or both cytokines together. Supernatant was collected after 1 h, 2 h, 4 h, 8 h, and 12 h. Neutrophil activation was assessed by measuring MPO, TNF-α, elastase, hydrogen peroxide, catalase and NO. The results revealed that the combination of IL-17 and IL-22 cytokines induced the release of NE, catalase, H2O2 and TNF-α from neutrophils activated with Burkholderia OmpA at late stages of activation. However, IL-22 alone or IL-17 alone decreased the myeloperoxidase (MPO), catalase and NE levels at early stages of neutrophil activation. The presence of IL-17 alone led to a significant increase in TNF-α level after 1 h and 12 h. However, the presence of IL-22 alone led to a significant increase in TNF-α level after only 1 h but a significant decrease after 8 h of activation was observed as compared to OmpA stimulated neutrophils. In conclusion, Th17 cytokines IL-17 and IL-22, have differential effects during the neutrophil response to Burkholderia OmpA.

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<![CDATA[The value of serum precipitins against specific antigens in patients diagnosed with hypersensitivity pneumonitis – retrospective study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N15e2bf25-f027-49cb-977c-eec802964e89

Introduction

Hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) is the third most common interstitial lung disease, and is often under-recognized, especially in patients who are not aware of their occupational or environmental contact with organic antigens. The aim of the present study was to assess the results of serum specific IgG antibodies (ssIgG) in HP patients and their correlation with clinical data.

Material and methods

128 HP patients, median age 53 years, participated in the study. The control group consisted of 102 patients with interstitial lung diseases (ILDs) other than HP. Assessment of pretreatment ssIgG to thermophilic actinomycetes and protein antigens from bird droppings (pigeons, hens, ducks, parrots, turkeys) was performed by double diffusion in agar gel according to Ouchterlony method.

Results

Positive precipitins were obtained in 57% of all HP patients and in 61% of those exposed to above mentioned antigens. Positive results in the control group were obtained in 7% of patients. Sensitivity of ssIgG in HP group was 0.57 and specificity 0.93. Precipitins to at least one bird antigen was confirmed in 64% of HP patients exposed to birds. Precipitins to thermophilic bacteria were found in 29% of HP patients exposed to hay or hay products.

Conclusions

The results of the study indicate that ssIgG against birds’ allergens were the valuable diagnostic tool in HP patients. Low-rate of confirmation of ssIgG to thermophilic bacteria in patients exposed to hay or hay products indicate that other microorganisms, most likely molds, could be responsible for the disease development.

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<![CDATA[Biological and genetic evaluation of IL-23/IL-17 pathway in ankylosing spondylitis patients]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N00413f5d-e8f7-47a5-9a22-19a87c117b16

Ankylosing spondylitis is the most common form of the chronic inflammatory disease group known as spondyloarthritides. Recent discoveries of the CD4+ Th17 cells and IL-23/IL-17 axis have changed the paradigms in many autoimmune diseases. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the importance of IL-23/IL-17 pathway and IL-23 receptor polymorphism in the pathogenesis of ankylosing spondylitis. Blood samples for this study were obtained from 109 ankylosing spondylitis patients and 40 healthy control subjects. Serum levels of TNF-α, IL-6, IL-17, and IL-23 were measured by the ELISA method. The IL-23R gene polymorphisms rs11209026 (Arg381Gln) and rs4131362 (Val362Ile) were performed by the Sanger Sequence method. IL-6 levels were higher in the active and inactive ankylosing spondylitis groups than in the control group. However, levels of IL-17 and IL-23 were lower in the patient group. The frequency of IL-23R gene rs11209026 and rs4131362 polymorphism were 3.7% and 8.3% in the patient, respectively. As a result, dysregulation of the IL-23 / IL-17 pathway, which is caused by reduced levels of IL-17 and IL-23 in systemic circulation in patients with ankylosing spondylitis, may contribute to the pathogenesis of the disease by systemically producing chronic autoimmune inflammation.

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<![CDATA[CD163 and CCR7 as markers for macrophage polarization in lung cancer microenvironment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nb138c349-9286-49b3-9828-614371fb46d3

Introduction

M2 macrophages are predominant in the immune infiltrates of resected tumours, but little is known about macrophage phenotype in the local lung cancer environment, which may be evaluated by bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF).

Aim of the study

To find differences between BALF from lung affected by cancer (clBALF) and hlBALF from the opposite, healthy lung, as a control, from the same patient, regarding their individual macrophage polarization and their correlation with IL-10 and TGF-β.

Material and methods

Eighteen patients with confirmed lung cancer were investigated. Macrophage subtyping was performed by immunofluorescence with antibodies anti-CCR7 and CD163 (M1 and M2, respectively).

Results

We found five populations of macrophages: cells with a single reaction: only for CCR7+ or CD163+, a double reaction (CCR7+CD163+), cells with a stronger CD163 (CCR7lowCD163+), and cells with a stronger CCR7 (CCR7+CD163low). The main population in the clBALF was composed of cells with a phenotype similar to M2 (CCR7lowCD163+), while in the hlBALF the predominating phenotype was the one similar to M1 (CCR7+CD163low). The median proportion of TGF-β1 concentration was higher in the clBALF and hlBALF supernatant than in the serum.

Conclusions

In this study we confirmed the usefulness of the immunofluorescence method with CCR7 and CD163 in the evaluation of BALF macrophage polarization in lung cancer.

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<![CDATA[Soluble tumour necrosis factor receptor I is a promising early indicator of complicated clinical outcome in patients following severe trauma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N76ba5691-7547-40fc-a54f-442446943ff9

Post-traumatic mortality rates are still very high and show an increasing tendency. Early identification of patients at high risk of severe complications has a significant impact on treatment outcomes. The aim of the study was to better understand the early pathological inflammatory response to injury and infection, and to determine the usefulness of the assessment of TNF-α and sTNFR1 concentrations in the peripheral blood as early indicators of severe post-traumatic complications. The study was carried out in a group of 51 patients after trauma, treated in the ED, including 32 patients who met the inclusion criteria for immunological analysis. Patients were divided into two groups using the ISS scale (A ISS ≥ 20, B ISS < 20). The highest TNF-α and sTNFR1 concentrations in both groups were recorded at admission and were significantly higher in group A compared to group B (A vs. B TNF-α 2.46 pg/ml vs. 1.78 pg/ml; sTNFR1 1667.5 pg/ml vs. 875.2 p < 0.005). The concentration of sTNFR1 in patients with severe complications was significantly higher compared to patients without complications and preceded clinical symptoms of complications (C+ vs. C 1561.5 pg/ml vs. 930.6 pg/ml, p < 0,005). The high diagnostic sensitivity calculated from the ROC curves was found for the concentrations of both cytokines: TNF-α (AUC = 0.91, p = 0.004) and sTNFR1 (AUC = 0.86, p = 0.011). Elevated levels of sTNFR1, determined in the peripheral blood shortly after injury, are significantly associated with the occurrence of later complications, which in some patients lead to death. In contrast, high levels of TNF-α shortly after injury are associated with mortality.

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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[Base-rate expectations modulate the causal illusion]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823c7d5eed0c484638fca

Previous research revealed that people’s judgments of causality between a target cause and an outcome in null contingency settings can be biased by various factors, leading to causal illusions (i.e., incorrectly reporting a causal relationship where there is none). In two experiments, we examined whether this causal illusion is sensitive to prior expectations about base-rates. Thus, we pretrained participants to expect either a high outcome base-rate (Experiment 1) or a low outcome base-rate (Experiment 2). This pretraining was followed by a standard contingency task in which the target cause and the outcome were not contingent with each other (i.e., there was no causal relation between them). Subsequent causal judgments were affected by the pretraining: When the outcome base-rate was expected to be high, the causal illusion was reduced, and the opposite was observed when the outcome base-rate was expected to be low. The results are discussed in the light of several explanatory accounts (associative and computational). A rational account of contingency learning based on the evidential value of information can predict our findings.

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