Rituximab treatment in a patient with severe thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy: effects on orbital lymphocytic infiltrates.
ABSTRACT Rituximab (RTX) has been shown in previous work to improve thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy (TAO), but very little data is available on the effects of RTX in the target tissues. We studied the effects of RTX on peripheral lymphocytes and on the intra-orbital infiltrates in one patient with severe TAO who was treated with two cycles of therapy. Intra-orbital tissues derived at decompression from 3 patients with moderate-severe and 1 with severe TAO, treated with standard immunosuppression, were studied as controls. Peripheral blood lymphocytes were analyzed throughout the study period, while intra-orbital tissue lymphocytes at decompression. In the patient treated with RTX visual field and acuity improved in response to peripheral CD 20+ cell depletion, although there was a proportion of persisting CD 19+ cells. After RTX re-treatment the patient's optic nerve function improved only transiently. The number of CD 20+ cells was lower in orbital tissues (0-1%) than in the peripheral blood (3%). A greater percentage of CD 19+ was observed in the orbits compared to the periphery, most of which were CD 19+5+ (80%). By immunohistochemistry, orbital tissues from all control patients showed CD 20+ and CD 3+ cells, independently of the duration of TAO and of the treatment with either steroids or radiotherapy. This is the first report on the therapeutic effect of RTX in active, severe TAO associated to the depletion of intra-orbital CD 20+ lymphocytes. After RTX, CD 19+5+ lymphocytes were shown to be 2-3 times more prevalent in the orbital infiltrates, compared to CD 20+ cells. Persistence of autoreactive cells is believed to be related to TAO relapse.
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ABSTRACT: To review current concepts regarding the pathogenesis of Graves ophthalmopathy (GO). We have presented this information in the context of potential target sites for novel disease therapies. Review of recent literature. Synthesis of recent literature. Enlargement of the extraocular muscle bodies and expansion of the orbital fatty connective tissues is apparent in patients with GO. These changes result from abnormal hyaluronic acid accumulation and edema within these tissues and expanded volume of the orbital adipose tissues. Recent studies have suggested that the increase in orbital fat volume is caused by stimulation of adipogenesis within these tissues. The orbital fibroblast appears to be the major target cell of the autoimmune process in GO. A subset of these cells is capable of producing hyaluronic acid and differentiating into mature adipocytes, given appropriate stimulation. In addition, orbital fibroblasts from patients with GO have been shown to display immunoregulatory molecules and to express both thyrotropin receptors (TSHRs) and insulin-like growth factor 1 receptors (IGF-1Rs). Increased TSHR expression in the GO orbit appears to be the result of stimulated adipocyte differentiation. The activation of IGF-1R on orbital fibroblasts by immunoglobulins from GO patients results in increased production of both hyaluronic acid and molecules that stimulate the infiltration of activated T cells into areas of inflammation. Potential targets for novel therapeutic agents to be used in GO include blocking T-cell costimulation, depleting B cells, inhibiting cytokine action, targeting the IGF-1R or the TSHR, and preventing connective tissue remodeling.American Journal of Ophthalmology 08/2006; 142(1):147-153. · 3.63 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: From in vitro studies using cultures of orbital fibroblasts, it has become clear that cytokines play an important role in the orbital inflammation in Graves' ophthalmopathy (GO). Orbital fibroblasts seem to be the key target cells of the autoimmune attack, and they are able to express the TSH receptor (TSH-R). In vivo data on the presence of cytokines in orbital tissues are sparse, and mostly limited to samples obtained from patients with endstage, inactive GO; the same holds true for the presence of the TSH-R. The aim of the present study was to determine whether the cytokine profile and TSH-R expression differ in the active vs. the inactive stage of GO. Orbital fat/connective tissue was obtained from six patients with active, untreated GO undergoing emergency orbital decompression, and from 11 patients with inactive GO subjected to rehabilitative decompressive surgery. The mRNA levels of various cytokines and the TSH-R were assessed by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using the LightCycler. Data are expressed as ratios (unknown mRNA/beta-actin mRNA). Active GO patients had much higher TSH-R expression than inactive patients: 4/0-24 (median value/range) vs. 0/0-9, P = 0.01. TSH-R expression was related to the Clinical Activity Score (r = 0.595, P = 0.015). Patients with active GO compared to those with inactive GO had higher mRNA levels of the proinflammatory cytokines interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) (445/153-877 vs. 0/0-455, P = 0.001), IL-6 (1583/968-18825 vs. 559/0-7181, P = 0.01), IL-8 (1422/38-7579 vs. 32/0-1081, P = 0.046) and IL-10 (145/58-318 vs. 27/0-189, P = 0.002). In active GO there also existed a trend towards a predominance of T helper 1 (Th1)-derived cytokines as evident from higher IL-2 (37/0-158 vs. 0/0-68, P = 0.043), interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) (20/0-79 vs. 0/0-16, P = 0.12) and IL-12 (2.3/0-14.8 vs. 0/0-1.6, P = 0.10) mRNAs. IL-1 receptor agonist (IL-1RA), IL-2 receptor (IL-2R), IL-3, IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, IL-18 and tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) mRNAs were similar in both groups. These data show that at the mRNA level, TSH-R expression is largely present only during the active stages of GO. The active phase is characterized by the presence of proinflammatory and Th1-derived cytokines, whereas other cytokines, among them Th2-derived cytokines, do not seem to be linked to a specific stage of GO.Clinical Endocrinology 04/2003; 58(3):280-7. · 3.40 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to examine whether TSH-receptor antibody [TSH binding inhibitory antibodies (TBII)] levels are associated with the severity of Graves' ophthalmopathy (GO) over the entire course of the disease. A total of 159 patients with GO were followed for 12-24 months. One year after the first symptoms of GO, all patients were classified into mild or severe GO according to their clinical manifestations. TBII were measured every 3 months after onset of GO. Receiver operating characteristic plot analysis was performed to assess the power to discriminate both patient groups by TBII (specificity >90%). TBII levels and prevalence at each time point during follow-up were significantly higher in patients with a severe course of GO compared with patients with a mild course of GO. Prognostic statements on the course of the disease were possible for about half of the GO patients at all time points (except the first). If at first presentation and at consecutive time points TBII levels were less than 5.7, 2.6, 1.5, 1.5, 1.5, and 1.5 IU/liter, the patients had a 2.3- to 15.6-fold higher chance of a mild course. If 5-8 months after GO onset and at consecutive time points TBII levels were above 8.8, 5.1, 4.8, 2.8, and 2.8 IU/liter, the patients had a 8.7- to 31.1-fold higher risk of a severe course. This relationship of TBII to the severity was independent from age and smoking. Follow-up measurements of TBII allow, in half of the patients, assessment of the prognosis of GO and, therefore, could be of additional help for the disease management.Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 09/2006; 91(9):3464-70. · 6.43 Impact Factor