[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Serum levels of B-cell activating factor belonging to the tumor necrosis factor family (BAFF), a potent B-cell survival factor, are elevated in patients with systemic autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis and systemic sclerosis (SSc). The objective of this study was to determine serum BAFF levels and relate the results to the clinical features in patients with organ-specific autoimmune diseases of the skin, such as localized scleroderma and autoimmune bullous diseases. Serum BAFF levels were examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 44 patients with localized scleroderma, 20 with pemphigus vulgaris/pemphigus foliaceus, 20 with bullous pemphigoid and 30 healthy controls. Twenty patients with SSc and 20 with SLE were also examined as disease controls. Serum BAFF levels were elevated in localized scleroderma patients compared with healthy controls. Concerning localized scleroderma subgroups, patients with generalized morphea, the severest form of localized scleroderma, had higher serum BAFF levels than linear scleroderma or morphea patients. The BAFF levels of generalized morphea were comparable with those of SSc or SLE. Furthermore, serum BAFF levels correlated positively with antihistone antibody levels and the severity of skin lesion as well as the number of skin lesions. By contrast, serum BAFF levels were not significantly elevated in patients with pemphigus or pemphigoid. These results suggest that BAFF may be contributing to autoimmunity and disease development in localized scleroderma.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: B cell-activating factor belonging to the TNF family (BAFF; BLyS) is a critical regulator of B cell maturation and survival, and its overexpression in BAFF transgenic (Tg) mice results in the development of autoimmune disorders. BAFF also affects T cell function through binding to one of the BAFF receptors, BAFF-R. Using BAFF Tg mice, we examined a typical Th1-mediated response, the cutaneous delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction, and found a much greater degree of paw swelling and inflammation than in control mice. Importantly, delayed-type hypersensitivity scores correlated directly with BAFF levels in serum. Conversely, in a Th2-mediated model of allergic airway inflammation, BAFF Tg mice were largely protected and showed markedly reduced Ag-specific T cell proliferation and eosinophil infiltration associated with the airways. Thus, local and/or systemically distributed BAFF affects Th1 and Th2 responses and impacts on the course of some T cell-mediated inflammatory reactions. Our results are consistent with the idea that BAFF augments T cell as well as B cell responses, particularly Th1-type responses. Results in BAFF Tg mice may reflect the situation in certain autoimmune patients or virally infected individuals, because BAFF levels in blood are comparable.
The Journal of Immunology 06/2005; 174(9):5537-44. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anti-tumour necrosis factor alpha (anti-TNFalpha) treatment may be associated with the production of autoantibodies, including lupus-specific autoantibodies.
To investigate the prevalence of autoantibodies in biological agent naive patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA).
94 consecutive, prospectively collected, biological agent naive patients with PsA at the University of Toronto PsA clinic underwent clinical and laboratory assessment. Disease activity was assessed by the number of actively inflamed joints, and the Psoriasis Activity and Severity Index (PASI) score. Antinuclear antibodies (ANA), rheumatoid factor (RF), double stranded DNA (dsDNA), Ro, La, Smith, and RNP were tested. Descriptive statistics and non-parametric tests were used to analyse the data.
44/94 (47%) patients with PsA were ANA positive (>/=1/40); 13/94 (14%) had a clinically significant titre of >/=1/80. Three per cent had dsDNA antibodies, 2% had RF and anti-Ro antibodies, 1% had anti-RNP antibodies, and none had anti-La or anti-Smith antibodies.
The background prevalence of ANA >/=1/80 in patients with PsA was 14%, with very few patients having specific lupus antibodies. This should serve as a baseline figure for the frequency of autoantibodies in biological agent naive patients with PsA for studies of the use of anti-TNFalpha agents.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 06/2005; 64(5):770-2. · 9.11 Impact Factor
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