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    Six-minute walk test in or out in evaluation of systemic sclerosis patients?
    Clin Exp Rheumatol 2017 Feb 15. Epub 2017 Feb 15.
    Department of Rheumatology, Ghent University Hospital; and Department of Internal Medicine, Ghent University, Belgium.
    Objectives: Interstitial lung disease (ILD) and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) are the leading causes of death in systemic sclerosis (SSc) patients. Although the six-minute walk test (6MWT) is used for evaluating ILD and PAH in clinical practice, no data are available on six-minute walk distance (6MWD) and oxygen desaturation in SSc patients without ILD and PAH.

    Methods: Prospectively collected data of the 6MWTs at baseline and 6-month follow-up of 300 consecutive SSc patients, included in the Ghent University Hospital Systemic Sclerosis Unit between May 2006 and April 2015 were analysed. Read More

    Successful treatment of a refractory dysbiotic intestinal pseudo-obstruction in a patient with systemic sclerosis-polymyositis overlap syndrome by intravenous immunoglobulin administration possibly related to gut flora normalisation.
    Clin Exp Rheumatol 2017 Jan 31. Epub 2017 Jan 31.
    Department of Dermatology, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan.
    ****************************************************************************. Read More

    Changes in the pattern of death of 987 patients with systemic sclerosis from 1990 to 2009 from the nationwide Spanish Scleroderma Registry (RESCLE).
    Clin Exp Rheumatol 2017 Feb 6. Epub 2017 Feb 6.
    Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, Department of Internal Medicine, Barcelona, Spain.
    Objectives: To determine the changes in the pattern of death of patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc) throughout 20 years.

    Methods: Data were collected from the Spanish Scleroderma Registry (RESCLE), retrospective multicentre database from 1990 to 2009. SSc-related and SSc-non related causes of death were assessed. Read More

    Integration of capillary microscopy and dermoscopy into the rheumatology fellow curriculum.
    Clin Exp Rheumatol 2017 Feb 10. Epub 2017 Feb 10.
    Department of Rheumatology, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, USA.
    Objectives: This study evaluates a novel, three-part nailfold capillaroscopy training curriculum for adult and paediatric rheumatology fellows.

    Methods: All rheumatology fellows training at an academic medical centre took part in the three-part nailfold capillaroscopy curriculum. Tests of fellows' usage, interest, confidence, and ability in nailfold capillaroscopy were taken at multiple time-points throughout the curriculum. Read More

    Dabigatran aggravates topoisomerase I peptide-loaded dendritic cells-induced lung and skin fibrosis.
    Clin Exp Rheumatol 2017 Feb 8. Epub 2017 Feb 8.
    Immunoregulation Laboratory, Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CRCHUM), Montréal, Québec, Canada.
    Objectives: Dysregulated coagulation cascade has been implicated in development of fibrosis in systemic sclerosis (SSc). Thrombin, a key mediator of the coagulation pathway, has both proinflammatory and procoagulant properties. Here, we evaluated the efficacy of oral dabigatran, a direct thrombin inhibitor, on topoisomerase I dendritic cells (TOPOIA DCs)-induced lung and skin fibrosis, an experimental model of SSc. Read More

    Relationship between calcium channel blockers and skin fibrosis in patients with systemic sclerosis.
    Clin Exp Rheumatol 2017 Jan 31. Epub 2017 Jan 31.
    St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, ON; and Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada.
    Objectives: Recent experimental evidence suggests that calcium channel blockers (CCBs) may have anti-fibrotic effects on liver and pulmonary fibrosis. We aimed to investigate whether use of CCBs was associated with the skin fibrosis in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc).

    Methods: Based on the 5-year follow-up data from the Canadian Scleroderma Research Group registry, we used the generalised estimating equations (GEE) model to assess the relationship between use of CCBs and the primary outcome of skin fibrosis measured by the modified Rodnan skin score (mRSS). Read More

    Patient phenotypes in fibromyalgia comorbid with systemic sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis: influence of diagnostic and screening tests. Screening with the FiRST questionnaire, diagnosis with the ACR1990 and revised ACR 2010 criteria.
    Clin Exp Rheumatol 2017 Feb 8. Epub 2017 Feb 8.
    Rheumatology Department, Cochin Hospital, Paris Descartes University, Paris, France.
    Objectives: Fibromyalgia (FM) may occur with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic sclerosis (SSc), and debate remains about its diagnosis. We aimed to use three FM tools (a screening tool (FiRST), diagnostic criteria (ACR 1990 and revised 2010), to compare FM prevalence between RA and SSc patients, to describe the phenotypes of patients with comorbid FM, and to analyze links between FM and secondary Sjögren's syndrome (SS).

    Methods: Consecutive adult patients with confirmed RA or SSc from four university hospitals were tested with the three FM tools. Read More

    Agonistic Anti-PDGF Receptor Autoantibodies from Patients with Systemic Sclerosis Impact Human Pulmonary Artery Smooth Muscle Cells Function In Vitro.
    Front Immunol 2017 8;8:75. Epub 2017 Feb 8.
    Clinica Medica, Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche e Molecolari, Università Politecnica delle Marche , Ancona , Italy.
    One of the earliest events in the pathogenesis of systemic sclerosis (SSc) is microvasculature damage with intimal hyperplasia and accumulation of cells expressing PDGF receptor. Stimulatory autoantibodies targeting PDGF receptor have been detected in SSc patients and demonstrated to induce fibrosis in vivo and convert in vitro normal fibroblasts into SSc-like cells. Since there is no evidence of the role of anti-PDGF receptor autoantibodies in the pathogenesis of SSc vascular lesions, we investigated the biologic effect of agonistic anti-PDGF receptor autoantibodies from SSc patients on human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells and the signaling pathways involved. Read More

    Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation for autoimmune diseases.
    Nat Rev Rheumatol 2017 Feb 23. Epub 2017 Feb 23.
    Paediatric Immunology, Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, University Medical Centre Utrecht, 3508 AB Utrecht, Netherlands.
    Autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is the only treatment that is able to induce long-term, drug-free and symptom-free remission in several refractory autoimmune rheumatic diseases. Over 3,000 HSCT procedures for rheumatic and nonrheumatic severe autoimmune diseases have been performed worldwide. Specific conditioning regimens are currently used to eradicate the autoreactive immunological memory of patients. Read More

    B Cell Homeostasis and Functional Properties Are Altered in an Hypochlorous Acid-Induced Murine Model of Systemic Sclerosis.
    Front Immunol 2017 7;8:53. Epub 2017 Feb 7.
    U995, LIRIC - Lille Inflammation Research International Center, Université de Lille, Lille, France; INSERM, U995, Lille, France; Département de Médecine Interne et Immunologie Clinique, CHU Lille, Lille, France; Centre National de Référence Maladies Systémiques et Auto-immunes Rares (Sclérodermie Systémique), Lille, France.
    Introduction: During systemic sclerosis (SSc), peripheral B cells display alterations in subset homeostasis and functional properties and are a promising therapeutic target. However, there is only few data regarding whether these anomalies are accurately reproduced in animal models of SSc.

    Objective: In this work, we assessed the B cell homeostasis modifications in an experimental model of SSc [hypochlorous acid (HOCl)-induced mouse], both at a phenotypic and functional level, during the course of the disease. Read More

    Idiopathic and Systemic Sclerosis associated Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension: A Comparison of Demographic, Haemodynamic and Magnetic Resonance Imaging Characteristics and Outcomes.
    Chest 2017 Feb 18. Epub 2017 Feb 18.
    Sheffield Pulmonary Vascular Disease Unit, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield. Electronic address:
    Background: Previous studies have identified survival in systemic sclerosis (SSc)-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension (SSc-PAH) to be worse than in idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH). We investigated differences between these conditions by comparing demographic, haemodynamic and radiological characteristics and outcomes in a large cohort of incident patients.

    Methods: 651 patients diagnosed with IPAH or SSc-associated pre-capillary pulmonary hypertension were included. Read More

    The relationship between left ventricular deformation and heart rate variability in patients with systemic sclerosis: Two- and three-dimensional strain analysis.
    Int J Cardiol 2017 Feb 14. Epub 2017 Feb 14.
    University Clinical Hospital Center "Dr. Dragisa Misovic - Dedinje", Cardiology Department, Heroja Milana Tepica 1, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia.
    Objective: We sought to investigate left ventricular (LV) function and deformation, as well as heart rate variability (HRV), and their relationship, in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc).

    Methods: The study included 49 SSc patients and 38 age-matched healthy subjects. All patients underwent clinical examination, serological tests, 24-h Holter monitoring, and comprehensive two- and three-dimensional echocardiography (2DE and 3DE). Read More

    The Effects of LW-AFC on the Hippocampus Transcriptome in Senescence-Accelerated Mouse Prone 8 Strain, a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease.
    J Alzheimers Dis 2017 Feb 10. Epub 2017 Feb 10.
    Department of Biotechnology, Beijing Institute of Radiation Medicine, Beijing China.
    The senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 (SAMP8) strain is considered a robust experimental model for developing preventative and therapeutic treatments for Alzheimer's disease (AD), a neurodegenerative disease which cannot be effectively prevented, halted, or cured. Our previous studies showed that LW-AFC, a new formula derived from the classical traditional Chinese medicinal prescription Liuwei Dihuang decoction, ameliorates cognitive deterioration in PrP-hAβPPswe/PS1ΔE9 transgenic mice and SAMP8 mice. This study aims to investigate the mechanism that mediates how LW-AFC improves cognitive deficit on the basis of the transcriptome. Read More

    Gastric antral vascular ectasia in systemic sclerosis: Where do we stand?
    Int J Rheum Dis 2017 Feb 20. Epub 2017 Feb 20.
    Rheumatology & Clinical Immunology Unit, Internal Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.
    Gastric antral vascular ectasia (GAVE) continues to be a challenge in both diagnosis and treatment. GAVE has a diverse group of associations and presumed causes, including cirrhosis, chronic renal failure and autoimmune connective tissue diseases. However, in most occasions, the management plan of GAVE itself is the same whatever the underlying disease by using Argon plasma coagulation (APC). Read More

    Reasons for Not Participating in Scleroderma Patient Support Groups: A Cross-sectional Study.
    Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) 2017 Feb 19. Epub 2017 Feb 19.
    Scleroderma Support Group Project Advisory Team Members.
    Objective: Peer-led support groups are an important resource for many people with scleroderma (systemic sclerosis; SSc). Little is known, however, about barriers to participation. The objective of this study was to identify reasons why some people with SSc do not participate in SSc support groups. Read More

    Vasculitic and autoimmune wounds.
    J Vasc Surg Venous Lymphat Disord 2017 Mar 14;5(2):280-292. Epub 2016 Dec 14.
    Division of Rheumatology, The George Washington University, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, D.C.
    Objective: Chronic wounds are a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Approximately 20% to 23% of nonhealing wounds that are refractory to vascular intervention have other causes, including vasculitis, pyoderma gangrenosum, and other autoimmune diseases. The purpose of this article was to review the literature across medical and surgical specialties with regard to refractory chronic wounds associated with vasculitis and autoimmune diseases and to delineate clinical outcomes of these wounds in response to vascular and other interventions. Read More

    Controlling the digital ulcerative disease in systemic sclerosis is associated with improved hand function.
    Semin Arthritis Rheum 2017 Jan 13. Epub 2017 Jan 13.
    Department of Dermatology, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Marseille, Timone Hospital, Aix-Marseille University, Marseille, France.
    Objectives: Ischemic digital ulcers (DU) represent a major complication of systemic sclerosis (SSc). We investigated the impact of controlling the ulcerative disease on disability, pain, and quality of life in SSc patients receiving bosentan.

    Methods: ECLIPSE (Study AC-052-517) is a 2-year prospective, multicenter, and observational study. Read More

    Development and validation of a patient-reported outcome instrument for skin involvement in patients with systemic sclerosis.
    Ann Rheum Dis 2017 Feb 17. Epub 2017 Feb 17.
    Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
    Objectives: We developed a patient-reported outcome (PRO) instrument to assess the skin-related quality of life in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc).

    Methods: Participants with SSc provided input on skin-related health effects through focus groups. We developed items for scleroderma skin PRO (SSPRO) to encompass these effects. Read More

    Towards developing criteria for scleroderma renal crisis: A scoping review.
    Autoimmun Rev 2017 Feb 14. Epub 2017 Feb 14.
    Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
    Objective: The absence of a gold standard for scleroderma renal crisis (SRC) has hindered our understanding of this problem. The objective of this scoping review was to identify the criteria used to define SRC in order to guide the development of a consensus definition for SRC.

    Methods: We conducted a search in three databases: Medline, Embase and non-Ovid Pubmed. Read More

    Integration of microRNA and mRNA expression profiles in the skin of systemic sclerosis patients.
    Sci Rep 2017 Feb 17;7:42899. Epub 2017 Feb 17.
    Department of Rheumatology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, 87 Xiangya Road, Changsha, Hunan 410008, People's Republic of China.
    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play important roles in the fibrosis of systemic sclerosis (SSc). However, the underlying miRNA-mRNA regulatory network is not fully understood. A systemic investigation of the role of miRNAs would be very valuable for increasing our knowledge of the pathogenesis of SSc. Read More

    Morphea "en coup de sabre": An unusual oral presentation.
    J Clin Exp Dent 2017 Feb 1;9(2):e315-e318. Epub 2017 Feb 1.
    DDS, MSc, Department of Oral Medicine and Oral Pathology, Universidad Andres Bello, Viña del Mar, Chile. Avenida Valparaíso 1560, Viña del Mar, Chile.
    Morphea, or localized scleroderma, is an inflammatory disease that leads to sclerosis of the skin and underlying tissues due to excessive collagen deposition. Oral involvement is unusual and it may produce white linear fibrotic areas with a scar-like appearance, atrophy of tongue papillae, gingival recession and alveolar bone resorption. We report a case of a 13-year-old girl who consulted for progressive recession on the attached gingiva of her upper left incisors. Read More

    Isolated Ro52 Antibodies as Immunological Marker of a Mild Phenotype of Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Diseases.
    Int J Rheumatol 2017 22;2017:3076017. Epub 2017 Jan 22.
    Immunology Unit, Central Laboratory, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario de Canarias, Tenerife, Spain.
    The term undifferentiated connective tissue disease (UCTD) is used to describe undiagnosed patients that do not fulfill classification criteria for definite connective tissue disease (Systemic Lupus, Systemic Sclerosis, Sjögren Syndrome, and Dermatomyositis/Polymyositis). It is important to find serological markers as predictors of the evolution or severity of these diseases. The objective of this retrospective study was to investigate if there was a milder subgroup of UCTD with a special clinical profile consisting only in the presence of anti-Ro52 autoantibodies. Read More

    Inhibition of phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) reduces dermal fibrosis by interfering with the release of interleukin-6 from M2 macrophages.
    Ann Rheum Dis 2017 Feb 16. Epub 2017 Feb 16.
    Department of Internal Medicine 3, Institute for Clinical Immunology, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany.
    Objectives: To investigate the disease-modifying effects of phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibition in preclinical models of systemic sclerosis (SSc).

    Methods: We studied the effects of PDE4 inhibition in a prevention and a treatment model of bleomycin-induced skin fibrosis, in the topoisomerase mouse model as well as in a model of sclerodermatous chronic graft-versus-host disease. To better understand the mode of action of PDE4 blockade in preclinical models of SSc, we investigated fibrosis-relevant mediators in fibroblasts and macrophages from healthy individuals and patients suffering from diffuse-cutaneous SSc on blockade of PDE4. Read More

    Pulmonary hypertension in connective tissue diseases: an update.
    Int J Rheum Dis 2017 Feb 16. Epub 2017 Feb 16.
    Department ofClinical Immunology & Rheumatology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India.
    Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a relatively commoner complication of systemic sclerosis (SSc) with estimated prevalence ranging between 8% and 12% as compared to much lower figures in other connective tissue diseases (CTD). It is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in CTDs. PH is classified into five major groups. Read More

    Clinical efficacy and safety of bathing with Chinese medicine Taohong Siwu Decoction () for treatment of diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis: A randomized, placebo-controlled trial.
    Chin J Integr Med 2017 Feb 15. Epub 2017 Feb 15.
    Department of Immunology and Rheumatology, Gansu Provincial Hospital, Lanzhou, 730000, China.
    Objective: To examine the efficacy and safety of bathing therapy with Taohong Siwu Decoction (, TSD) in the treatment of early-stage, mild-moderate diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis (dcSSc).

    Methods: This randomized, placebo-controlled trial enrolled 148 men and women (18-60 years) with dcSSc (disease duration ≤12 months) and baseline modified Rodnan skin score (MRSS) ≥10. Patients were randomized into a TSD group (71 cases bathing with TSD plus oral prednisone) or control group (71 cases bathing with placebo plus oral prednisone). Read More

    Astrocytic orosomucoid-2 modulates microglial activation and neuroinflammation.
    J Neurosci 2017 Feb 13. Epub 2017 Feb 13.
    Department of Pharmacology, Brain Science & Engineering Institute, BK21 PLUS KNU Biomedical Convergence Program for Creative Talent, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu 41944, Republic of Korea
    Orosomucoid (ORM) is an acute-phase protein that belongs to the immunocalin subfamily, a group of small-molecule binding proteins with immunomodulatory functions. Little is known about the role of ORM proteins in the central nervous system. The aim of the present study was to investigate the brain expression of ORM and its role in neuroinflammation. Read More

    Friends or Foes? Host defense (antimicrobial) peptides and proteins in human skin diseases.
    Exp Dermatol 2017 Feb 13. Epub 2017 Feb 13.
    Atopy (Allergy) Research Center, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.
    Host defense peptides/proteins (HDPs), also known as antimicrobial peptides/proteins (AMPs), are key molecules in the cutaneous innate immune system. AMPs/HDPs historically exhibit broad-spectrum killing activity against bacteria, enveloped viruses, fungi and several parasites. Recently, AMPs/HDPs were shown to have important biological functions, including inducing cell proliferation, migration and differentiation; regulating inflammatory responses; controlling the production of various cytokines/chemokines; promoting wound healing; and improving skin barrier function. Read More

    Blockade of p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Inhibits Murine Sclerodermatous Chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease.
    Am J Pathol 2017 Feb 9. Epub 2017 Feb 9.
    Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Medical, Pharmaceutical and Health Sciences, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Japan.
    Bone marrow transplantation (BMT) of B10.D2 mice into sublethally irradiated BALB/c mice across minor histocompatibility loci is a well-established animal model for human sclerodermatous chronic graft-versus-host disease (Scl-cGVHD) and systemic sclerosis (SSc). The p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway is a key regulator of inflammation and cytokine production. Read More

    Treatment outcome in early diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis: the European Scleroderma Observational Study (ESOS).
    Ann Rheum Dis 2017 Feb 10. Epub 2017 Feb 10.
    UCL Division of Medicine, Centre for Rheumatology and Connective Tissue Diseases, London, UK.
    Objectives: The rarity of early diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis (dcSSc) makes randomised controlled trials very difficult. We aimed to use an observational approach to compare effectiveness of currently used treatment approaches.

    Methods: This was a prospective, observational cohort study of early dcSSc (within three years of onset of skin thickening). Read More

    Cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging pattern at the time of diagnosis of treatment naïve patients with connective tissue diseases.
    Int J Cardiol 2017 Feb 1. Epub 2017 Feb 1.
    Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center, Athens, Greece.
    Background-aim: Cardiac involvement at diagnosis of connective tissue disease (CTD) has been described by echocardiography. We hypothesized that cardio-vascular magnetic resonance (CMR) detects occult lesions at CTD diagnosis.

    Patients-methods: CMR was performed early after diagnosis in 78 treatment-naïve CTDs (aged 43±11, 59F/19M) without cardiac involvement [5 Takayasu arteritis (TA), 4 Churg Strauss syndrome (CSS), 5 Wegener granulomatosis (WG), 16 systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), 12 rheumatoid arthritis (RA), 8 mixed connective tissue diseases (MCTD), 12 ankylosing spondylitis (AS), 3 polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR), 8 systemic sclerosis (SSc) and 5 dermatomyositis (DM)]. Read More

    Review article: pathogenesis and clinical manifestations of gastrointestinal involvement in systemic sclerosis.
    Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2017 Feb 9. Epub 2017 Feb 9.
    Jefferson Institute of Molecular Medicine and Scleroderma Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
    Background: Gastrointestinal tract (GIT) involvement is a common cause of debilitating symptoms in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). There are no disease modifying therapies for this condition and the treatment remains symptomatic, largely owing to the lack of a clear understanding of its pathogenesis.

    Aims: To investigate novel aspects of the pathogenesis of gastrointestinal involvement in SSc. Read More

    Recent advances in managing systemic sclerosis.
    F1000Res 2017 30;6:88. Epub 2017 Jan 30.
    Division of Rheumatology, Medicine III, University Medical Center and Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus at the TU Dresden, Dresden, Germany.
    How the main components in systemic sclerosis-namely autoimmunity, vasculopathy, and fibrosis-fit together is still not sufficiently clear. However, vascular treatment options are well established, the body of evidence for the efficacy of immunomodulatory approaches is increasing, and now at least one hopeful substance that may directly interfere with fibrosis is being tested. Although we still wait for important breakthroughs, there is grounds for hope that better therapeutic options will be available in the near future. Read More

    Proangiogenic effects of soluble α-Klotho on systemic sclerosis dermal microvascular endothelial cells.
    Arthritis Res Ther 2017 Feb 10;19(1):27. Epub 2017 Feb 10.
    Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, University of Florence, AOUC, Largo Brambilla 3, 50134, Florence, Italy.
    Background: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is characterized by endothelial cell (EC) apoptosis, impaired angiogenesis and peripheral microvasculopathy. Soluble α-Klotho (sKl) is a pleiotropic molecule with multiple effects on ECs, including antioxidant and vasculoprotective activities. On the EC surface, sKl interacts with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor-2 (VEGFR-2) and transient receptor potential canonical-1 (TRPC-1) cation channel to control EC homeostasis. Read More

    Oral Multiple Sclerosis Drugs Inhibit the In vitro Growth of Epsilon Toxin Producing Gut Bacterium, Clostridium perfringens.
    Front Cell Infect Microbiol 2017 25;7:11. Epub 2017 Jan 25.
    Laboratory of Bacterial Pathogenesis and Immunology, Rockefeller University New York, NY, USA.
    There are currently three oral medications approved for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). Two of these medications, Fingolimod, and Teriflunomide, are considered to be anti-inflammatory agents, while dimethyl fumarate (DMF) is thought to trigger a robust antioxidant response, protecting vulnerable cells during an MS attack. We previously proposed that epsilon toxin from the gut bacterium, Clostridium perfringens, may initiate newly forming MS lesions due to its tropism for blood-brain barrier (BBB) vasculature and central nervous system myelin. Read More

    Nanobiomaterials' applications in neurodegenerative diseases.
    J Biomater Appl 2017 Feb 11;31(7):953-984. Epub 2016 Nov 11.
    4 Nanotechnology Laboratory, National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery, México City, Manuel Velasco Suárez, Mexico.
    The blood-brain barrier is the interface between the blood and brain, impeding the passage of most circulating cells and molecules, protecting the latter from foreign substances, and maintaining central nervous system homeostasis. However, its restrictive nature constitutes an obstacle, preventing therapeutic drugs from entering the brain. Usually, a large systemic dose is required to achieve pharmacological therapeutic levels in the brain, leading to adverse effects in the body. Read More

    Prognostic significance of renal vascular pathology in lupus nephritis.
    Lupus 2017 Jan 1:961203317692419. Epub 2017 Jan 1.
    1 Department of Nephrology and Mineral Metabolism, National Medical Science and Nutrition Institute Salvador Zubirán, Mexico.
    We performed a retrospective cohort analysis to define the prognostic significance of vascular lesions documented in renal biopsies of lupus nephritis patients. A total of 429 patients were segregated into five groups: (1) no vascular lesions (NVL), (2) arterial sclerosis (AS), (3) non-inflammatory necrotizing vasculitis (NNV), (4) thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA), and (5) true renal vasculitis (TRV). Renal outcomes were analyzed by Cox regression models, and correlations between vascular lesions and activity/chronicity scores were determined by Spearman's coefficients. Read More

    Characteristics of human adipose derived stem cells in scleroderma in comparison to sex and age matched normal controls: implications for regenerative medicine.
    Stem Cell Res Ther 2017 Feb 7;8(1):23. Epub 2017 Feb 7.
    Charles Wolfson Center for Reconstructive Surgery, Royal Free Hospital, London, UK.
    Background: Adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) are emerging as an alternative stem cell source for cell-based therapies. Recent data suggest that autologous ADSC-enriched micrografting improves the effects of facial involvement in systemic sclerosis (SSc). We have extensively characterised ADSCs from SSc patients and compared their phenotype and function to healthy age- and sex-matched control ADSCs. Read More

    Autoimmune/Inflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants and Thyroid Autoimmunity.
    Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) 2016 24;7:150. Epub 2017 Jan 24.
    Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Diseases, Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Aviv, Israel; Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel; Laura Schwarz-Kipp Chair for Research of Autoimmune Diseases, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel.
    The autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA), presented by Shoenfeld and Agmon-Levin in 2011, is an entity that incorporates diverse autoimmune conditions induced by the exposure to various adjuvants. Adjuvants are agents that entail the capability to induce immune reactions. Adjuvants are found in many vaccines and used mainly to increase the response to vaccination in the general population. Read More

    Pemphigus vulgaris and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
    J Res Med Sci 2016 18;21:82. Epub 2016 Oct 18.
    Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran.
    Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is an autoimmune bullous and erosive mucocutaneous disease. Rarely, it occurs in patients with other autoimmune disease. The relation between PV and neurological disorders is unclear and needs to be more studied. Read More

    Vitamin D in Autoimmunity: Molecular Mechanisms and Therapeutic Potential.
    Front Immunol 2016 20;7:697. Epub 2017 Jan 20.
    Department of Rheumatology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands; Department of Immunology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands.
    Over the last three decades, it has become clear that the role of vitamin D goes beyond the regulation of calcium homeostasis and bone health. An important extraskeletal effect of vitamin D is the modulation of the immune system. In the context of autoimmune diseases, this is illustrated by correlations of vitamin D status and genetic polymorphisms in the vitamin D receptor with the incidence and severity of the disease. Read More

    Intra-and inter-observer reliability of nailfold videocapillaroscopy - A possible outcome measure for systemic sclerosis-related microangiopathy.
    Microvasc Res 2017 Feb 2;112:1-6. Epub 2017 Feb 2.
    Division of Musculoskeletal & Dermatological Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Manchester, UK; NIHR Manchester Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit, Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Manchester, UK.
    Objectives: Our aim was to assess the reliability of nailfold capillary assessment in terms of image evaluability, image severity grade ('normal', 'early', 'active', 'late'), capillary density, capillary (apex) width, and presence of giant capillaries, and also to gain further insight into differences in these parameters between patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc), patients with primary Raynaud's phenomenon (PRP) and healthy control subjects.

    Methods: Videocapillaroscopy images (magnification 300×) were acquired from all 10 digits from 173 participants: 101 patients with SSc, 22 with PRP and 50 healthy controls. Ten capillaroscopy experts from 7 European centres evaluated the images. Read More


    Systemic sclerosis with anti-RNA polymerase III positivity following silicone breast implant rupture: possible role of B-cell depletion and implant removal in the treatment.
    Rheumatol Int 2017 Feb 3. Epub 2017 Feb 3.
    Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Spedali Civili of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.
    Despite some case reports and small series of women with silicone breast implants (SBI) developing Systemic Sclerosis (SSc), no clear evidence of an association of SBI with SSc is available. However, SSc is characterized by clinical and immunological heterogeneity and autoantibodies are currently the best markers to stratify this heterogeneity of patients. Therefore, we have reviewed the literature for details of autoantibody characterization in reports of SSc associated with SBI. Read More


    Demyelinating syndrome in SLE encompasses different subtypes: Do we need new classification criteria? Pooled results from systematic literature review and monocentric cohort analysis.
    Autoimmun Rev 2017 Jan 31. Epub 2017 Jan 31.
    Chair of Rheumatology and Rheumatology Unit, University Clinic AOU of Cagliari, Italy.
    Objective: To describe features of demyelinating syndrome (DS) in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

    Methods: A systematic review using a combination of Mesh terms in PubMed and a retrospective analysis of 343 adult patients with SLE were carried out to identify patients with DS. Retrieved cases were classified as affected with DS according to 1999 ACR nomenclature and attributed to SLE by applying the 2015 algorithm. Read More

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