Serum levels of hBD2 and HNPs are elevated in SLE. The correlations of hBD2 and HNPs to established disease activity parameters and distinct clinical situations suggest that innate immune mechanisms are activated. Defensins may be involved in SLE pathogenesis.
Caseins are major constituents of mammalian milks that are thought to be exclusively expressed in mammary glands and to function primarily as a protein source, as well as to ameliorate intestinal calcium uptake. In addition, proinflammatory and immunomodulatory properties have been reported for bovine caseins. Our aim was to investigate whether human casein α s1 (CSN1S1) is expressed outside the mammary gland and possesses immunomodulatory functions in humans as well. For this purpose, CSN1S1 mRNA was detected in primary human monocytes and CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, but not in CD19+ B cells. CSN1S1 protein was traceable in supernatants of cultured primary human CD14+ monocytes by ELISA. Similarly, CSN1S1 mRNA and protein were detected in the human monocytic cell lines HL60, U937, and THP1 but not in Mono Mac 6 cells. Moreover, permeabilized human monocytes and HL60 cells could be stained by immunofluorescence, indicating intracellular expression. Recombinant human CSN1S1 was bound to the surface of Mono Mac 6 cells and upregulated the expression of GM-CSF mRNA in primary human monocytes and Mono Mac 6 cells in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. A similar increase in GM-CSF protein was found in the culture supernatants. CSN1S1-dependent upregulation of GM-CSF was specifically blocked by the addition of the p38 MAPK inhibitor ML3403. Our results indicated that human CSN1S1 may possess an immunomodulatory role beyond its nutritional function in milk. It is expressed in human monocytes and stimulates the expression of the proinflammatory cytokine GM-CSF.
IntroductionSynovial inflammation and joint destruction in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may progress despite clinical remission. Dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) is increasingly used to detect synovial inflammation in RA. Although small joints such as metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints are mainly affected by RA, MRI findings have never been directly compared to histological synovitis in MCP synovial tissue. The objective of the current study was therefore to analyse if DCE-MRI relates to histological signs of synovitis small RA joints.MethodsIn 9 RA patients, DCE-MRI (3 Tesla, dynamic 2D T1 weighted turbo-flash sequence) of the hand was performed prior to arthroscopically-guided synovial biopsies from the second MCP of the imaged hand. Maximum enhancement (ME), rate of early enhancement, and maximum rate of enhancement were assessed in the MCP. Synovial biopsies were stained for determination of sublining CD68 and the Synovitis Score. Correlations between MRI and histological data were calculated according to Spearman.ResultsME of the MCP significantly correlated to sublining CD68 staining (r = 0.750, P = 0.02), the Synovitis Score (r = 0.743, P = 0.02), and the subscores for lining layer hypertrophy (r = 0.789, P = 0.01) and cellular density (r = 0.842; P = 0.004).ConclusionsPerfusion imaging of synovial tissue in RA finger joints employing DCE-MRI reflects histological synovial inflammation. According to our study, ME is the most closely associated parameter amongst the measures considered.
BackgroundThe generation of antibodies is impaired in newborns due to an immature immune system and reduced exposure to pathogens due to maternally derived antibodies and placental functions. During nursing, the immune system of newborns is challenged with multiple milk-derived proteins. Amongst them, caseins are the main constituent. In particular, human αS1-casein (CSN1S1) was recently shown to possess immunomodulatory properties. We were thus interested to determine if auto-antibodies to CSN1S1 are induced by breast-feeding and may be sustained into adulthood.Methods62 sera of healthy adult individuals who were (n = 37) or were not (n = 25) breast-fed against human CSN1S1 were investigated by a new SD (surface display)-ELISA. For cross-checking, these sera were tested for anti Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) antibodies by a commercial ELISA.ResultsIgG-antibodies were predominantly detected in individuals who had been nursed. At a cut-off value of 0.4, the SD-ELISA identified individuals with a history of having been breast-fed with a sensitivity of 80% and a specificity of 92%. Under these conditions, 35 out of 37 sera from healthy donors, who where breast-fed, reacted positively but only 5 sera of the 25 donors who were not breast-fed. The duration of breast-feeding was of no consequence to the antibody reaction as some healthy donors were only short term breast-fed (5 days minimum until 6 weeks maximum), but exhibited significant serum reaction against human CSN1S1 nonetheless.ConclusionWe postulate that human CSN1S1 is an autoantigen. The antigenicity is orally determined, caused by breast-feeding, and sustained into adulthood.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a heterogeneous disease with respect to disease manifestations, disease progression and treatment response. Therefore, strategies to identify biomarkers that help distinguishing SLE subgroups are a major focus of biomarker research. We reasoned that a multiparametric autoantibody profiling approach combined with data mining tools could be applied to identify SLE patient clusters. We used a bead-based array containing 86 antigens including diverse nuclear and immune defense pathway proteins. Sixty-four autoantibodies were significantly (p < 0.05) increased in SLE (n ¼ 69) compared to healthy controls (HC, n ¼ 59). Using binary cut-off thresholds (95% quantile of HC), hierarchical clustering of SLE patients yields five clusters, which differ qualitatively and in their total number of autoantibodies. In two patient clusters the overall accumulated autoantibody reactivity of all antigens tested was 31% and 48%, respectively. We observed a positive association between the autoantibody signature present in these two patient clusters and the clinical manifestation of glomerulonephritis (GLMN). In addition, groups of autoantibodies directed against distinct intracellular compartments and/or biological motifs characterize the different SLE subgroups. Our findings highlight the relevant potential of multiparametric autoantibody detection and may contribute to a deeper understanding of the clinical and serological diversity of SLE. Lupus (2016) 25, 812-822.
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