Eric S Sobel

University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States

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Publications (110)414.16 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Increasing evidence suggests that type 1 IFN (IFN-αβ) is associated with pathogenesis of Th1-mediated type 1 diabetes (T1D). A major source of IFN-αβ is plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs). In this study, we analyzed peripheral blood pDC numbers and functions in at-risk, new-onset, and established T1D patients and controls. We found that subjects at risk for T1D and new-onset and established T1D subjects possessed significantly increased pDCs but similar number of myeloid DCs when compared with controls. pDC numbers were not affected by age in T1D subjects but declined with increasing age in control subjects. It was demonstrated that IFN-α production by PBMCs stimulated with influenza viruses was significantly higher in T1D subjects than in controls, and IFN-α production was correlated with pDC numbers in PBMCs. Of interest, only T1D-associated Coxsackievirus serotype B4 but not B3 induced majority of T1D PBMCs to produce IFN-α, which was confirmed to be secreted by pDCs. Finally, in vitro studies demonstrated IFN-α produced by pDCs augmented Th1 responses, with significantly greater IFN-γ-producing CD4(+) T cells from T1D subjects. These findings indicate that increased pDCs and their IFN-αβ production may be associated with this Th1-mediated autoimmune disease, especially under certain viral infections linked to T1D pathogenesis.
    Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Our recent data showed that signal transducers and activators of transcription 1 (STAT1), adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR), C-C motif chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2), and C-X-C motif chemokine 10 (CXCL10) were significantly elevated in a systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) cohort compared to healthy donors. High and low STAT1 subsets were identified in SLE patient visits. The present study analyzed the correlation of common treatments used in SLE with the levels of these biomarkers. Peripheral blood leukocytes were collected from 65 healthy donors and 103 SLE patients, of whom 60 had samples from 2 or more visits. Total RNA was isolated and analyzed for the expression of mRNA and microRNA using Taqman real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays. Relative expression of interferon signature genes, CCL2, and CXCL10 were determined by the DeltaDeltaCT method. Results were correlated with therapy using prednisone, mycophenolate mofetil, and hydroxychloroquine and analyzed by Wilcoxon/Kruskal-Wallis test and Fisher's exact test. CCL2 and CXCL10 were significantly higher in untreated patients compared to treated patients, however, in high STAT1 patient visits there is no significant difference between treated and untreated patients' visits. When comparing linear regression fits of interferon (IFN) score with CCL2 and CXCL10, untreated patients and high STAT1 patients displayed significantly higher slopes compared to treated patients. There was no significant difference between the slopes of high STAT1 and untreated patients indicating that CCL2 and CXCL10 were correlated with type-I IFN in high STAT1 patients similar to that in untreated patients. CCL2 and CXCL10 levels in high STAT1 subset remained high in treated patient visits compared to those of the low STAT1 subset. Among the biomarkers analyzed, only CCL2 and CXCL10 showed significantly reduced levels in treated compared to untreated SLE patients. STAT1, CCL2, and CXCL10 are potentially useful indicators of therapeutic action in SLE patients. Further work is needed to determine whether high STAT1 levels convey resistance to therapies commonly used to treat SLE and whether STAT1 inhibitors may have therapeutic implication for these patients.
    Arthritis research & therapy 01/2014; 16(1):R23. · 4.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The present study examines the levels of recently reported biomarkers, ADAR, CCL2, CXCL10, STAT1, and miR-146a in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients over multiple visits. Peripheral blood leukocytes were collected from 65 healthy donors and 103 SLE patients, 60 of whom had samples from 2 or more visits. Total RNA was isolated and analyzed for the expression of mRNA and microRNA using Taqman real time PCR assays. Relative expression of I-IFN signature genes, chemokines, and miR-146a were determined by the DeltaDeltaCT method. Results were correlated with clinical data and analyzed by Wilcoxon/Kruskal-Wallis test and Fisher's exact test. Levels of ADAR, CCL2, CXCL10, and STAT1 in SLE were significantly elevated compared with the healthy controls (P <0.0001). ADAR, CCL2, and CXCL10 showed significant correlation with IFN score in both healthy donors (P <0.0033) and SLE patients (P <0.0001). In SLE patients, miR-146a level was not significantly different from healthy controls nor correlated to the IFN score. Two STAT1 populations were identified: a low STAT1 and a high STAT1 group. High STAT1 patient visits displayed higher (P <=0.0020) levels of CCL2 and CXCL10 than the low STAT1 patient visits. STAT1 levels correlated with IFN score in low STAT1 group but not in high STAT1 group. More importantly, high STAT1 levels appeared as an enhancer of CCL2 and CXCL10 as indicated by the significantly stronger correlation of CCL2 and CXCL10 with IFN score in high STAT1 patient visits relative to low STAT1 patient visits. Our data indicate a novel role for STAT1 in the pathogenesis of SLE as an expression enhancer of CCL2 and CXCL10 in SLE patients with high levels of STAT1. Future study is needed to examine the exact role of STAT1 in the etiology of SLE.
    Arthritis research & therapy 01/2014; 16(1):R20. · 4.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The goal of this study is to capture the quantitative optical features of degenerative finger joints based on x-ray aided three-dimensional (3D) diffuse optical tomography (DOT). It is anticipated that the fused imaging technique can be applied to identifying the significant differences between osteoarthritis (OA) and psoriatic arthritis (PA). For a case study, total 6 subjects were selected to study the distal interphalangeal (DIP) finger joints. 2 OA patients, 2 PA patients and 2 healthy subjects were examined clinically first. Their DIP finger joints were then scanned by the multimodality imaging method. Our findings suggested that the developed multimodality imaging approach may aid to contradistinguish OA patients from PA patients with the healthy control, which is essential for a better diagnosis and treatment of inflammatory arthritis in humans.
    Bio-medical materials and engineering 01/2014; 24(6):3063-71. · 1.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Anemia is one of the most common hematological manifestations in SLE patients, occurring in about 50 % of active cases. STAT1 is a critical signaling molecule required for the production of type-1 interferon (I-IFN), CCL2, and CXCL10, all of which are upregulated in SLE. Overexpression of STAT1 has been described to be involved in anemia in animal models. The aim of this study is to analyze how these components are involved in SLE-associated anemia. Blood samples were collected from 39 healthy donors and 101 SLE patients fulfilling ACR criteria. Samples were collected from a total of 180 visits (58 patients had 2 or more visits) of which 52 visits included a diagnosis of anemia. Healthy donors had only single visit. Total RNA, isolated from leukocytes, was analyzed by Taqman qPCR. Relative expression levels of I-IFN signature genes, chemokines, and miR-146a were determined by the ΔΔCT method. Results were correlated with clinical data and analyzed by the Wilcoxon/Kruskal-Wallis test and Fisher's exact test. Significant increases in IFN score (p < 0.0001), STAT1 (p < 0.0001), miR-146a (p < 0.0005), CCL2 (p = 0.0047), and CXCL10 (p = 0.017), as well as a significant decrease in pri-miR-146a (p = 0.0002), were detected in the anemic SLE patient visits (n = 52) compared to non-anemic SLE visits (n = 128). Regardless of disease activity, lupus nephritis, or race, anemic SLE patients displayed significantly elevated levels of STAT1 and miR-146a compared to non-anemic SLE patients. STAT1 and miR-146a may be upregulated during inflammation and via proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines in SLE. Prolonged upregulation of STAT1 and miR-146a appears to play an important role in anemia in SLE patients.
    Journal of Clinical Immunology 12/2013; · 3.38 Impact Factor
  • Yao Sun, Eric Sobel, Huabei Jiang
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    ABSTRACT: We present quantitative imaging of hemoglobin concentration and oxygen saturation in in vivo finger joints and evaluate the feasibility of detecting osteoarthritis (OA) in the hand using three-dimensional (3D) multispectral quantitative photoacoustic tomography (3D qPAT). The results show that both the anatomical structures and quantitative chromophore concentrations (oxy-hemoglobin and deoxy-hemoglobin) of different joint tissues (hard phalanges and soft cartilage/synovial fluid between phalanges) can be imaged in vivo with the multispectral 3D qPAT. Enhanced hemoglobin concentrations and dropped oxygen saturations in osteoarthritic phalanges and soft joint tissues in joint cavities have been observed. This study indicates that the multispectral 3D qPAT is a promising approach to detect the angiogenesis and hypoxia associated with OA disease and a potential clinical tool for early OA detection in the finger joints.
    Journal of Optics 05/2013; 15(5):5302-.
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    ABSTRACT: Although ectopic lymphoid tissue formation is associated with many autoimmune diseases, it is unclear whether it serves a functional role in autoimmune responses. 2,6,10,14-Tetramethylpentadecane causes chronic peritoneal inflammation and lupus-like disease with autoantibody production and ectopic lymphoid tissue (lipogranuloma) formation. A novel transplantation model was used to show that transplanted lipogranulomas retain their lymphoid structure over a prolonged period in the absence of chronic peritoneal inflammation. Recipients of transplanted lipogranulomas produced anti-U1A autoantibodies derived exclusively from the donor, despite nearly complete repopulation of the transplanted lipogranulomas by host lymphocytes. The presence of ectopic lymphoid tissue alone was insufficient, as an anti-U1A response was not generated by the host in the absence of ongoing peritoneal inflammation. Donor-derived anti-U1A autoantibodies were produced for up to 2 mo by plasma cells/plasmablasts recruited to the ectopic lymphoid tissue by CXCR4. Although CD4(+) T cells were not required for autoantibody production from the transplanted lipogranulomas, de novo generation of anti-U1A plasma cells/plasmablasts was reduced following T cell depletion. Significantly, a population of memory B cells was identified in the bone marrow and spleen that did not produce anti-U1A autoantibodies unless stimulated by LPS to undergo terminal differentiation. We conclude that 2,6,10,14-tetramethylpentadecane promotes the T cell-dependent development of class-switched, autoreactive memory B cells and plasma cells/plasmablasts. The latter home to ectopic lymphoid tissue and continue to produce autoantibodies after transplantation and in the absence of peritoneal inflammation. However, peritoneal inflammation appears necessary to generate autoreactive B cells de novo.
    The Journal of Immunology 03/2013; · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Myositis specific autoantibodies are associated with unique clinical subsets and are useful biomarkers in polymyositis/dermatomyositis (PM/DM). A 120 kD protein recognized by certain patients with DM was identified and clinical features of patients with this specificity were characterized. The 120 kD protein recognized by a prototype serum was purified and identified by mass spectrometry and immunological methods. Autoantibody to this 120 kD protein was screened in sera from 2,356 patients with various diagnoses from four countries, including 254 PM/DM, by immunoprecipitation of 35S-methionine labeled K562 cell extracts. Clinical information of patients with this specificity was collected. The 120 kD protein, which exactly comigrated with PL-12, was identified as transcription intermediary factor TIF1β (TRIM28) by mass spectrometry and validated by immunoassays. By immunofluorescence, anti-TIF1β positivity showed a fine-speckled nuclear staining pattern. Four cases of anti-TIF1β were identified; all are women, one each in a Japanese, African American, Caucasian, and Mexican individual. Three had a diagnosis of DM and one case was classified as having an undifferentiated connective tissue disease with an elevated CPK but without significant muscle symptoms. This individual also had a history of colon cancer, cervical squamous metaplasia and fibroid tumors of the uterus. Myopathy was mild in all cases and resolved without treatment in one case. The anti-TIF1β specificity was not found in other conditions. Anti-TIF1β is a new DM autoantibody associated with a mild form of myopathy. Whether it has an association with malignancy, as in the case of anti-TIF1γ, or other unique features will need to be evaluated in future studies.
    Arthritis research & therapy 04/2012; 14(2):R79. · 4.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Anti-RNA polymerase III (RNAP III) antibodies are highly specific for scleroderma (SSc) and associated with diffuse SSc and renal crisis. Coexistence of anti-RNAP III and other SSc autoantibodies is rarely documented. We report three cases with coexisting anti-RNAP III and anti-U1RNP. Autoantibodies in 3829 sera from rheumatology clinics were screened by immunoprecipitation. Anti-RNAP III-positive sera were also examined by immunofluorescence and anti-RNAP III ELISA. In total, 35 anti-RNAP III-positive sera were identified by immunoprecipitation, in which three had coexisting anti-U1RNP. All three were anti-RNAP III ELISA positive. Two had anti-RNAP I dominant (vs. RNAP III) reactivity and showed strong nucleolar staining. A case with anti-U1/U2RNP (U2RNP dominant) had systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)-SSc overlap syndrome; however, the remaining two cases had SLE without signs of SSc. All three cases of anti-RNAP III + U1RNP fulfilled ACR SLE criteria but none in the group with anti-RNAP III alone (p = 0.0002). In contrast, only one case in the former group had sclerodermatous skin changes and Raynaud's phenomenon, vs. 92% with scleroderma in the latter (p < 0.05). Although anti-RNAP III is highly specific for SSc, cases with coexisting anti-U1RNP are not so uncommon among anti-RNAP III positives (8%, 3/35) and may be SLE without features of SSc.
    Lupus 01/2012; 21(1):68-74. · 2.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sle1a.1 is part of the Sle1 susceptibility locus, which has the strongest association with lupus nephritis in the NZM2410 mouse model. In this study, we show that Sle1a.1 results in the production of activated and autoreactive CD4(+) T cells. Additionally, Sle1a.1 expression reduces the peripheral regulatory T cell pool, as well as induces a defective response of CD4(+) T cells to the retinoic acid expansion of TGF-β-induced regulatory T cells. At the molecular level, Sle1a.1 corresponds to an increased expression of a novel splice isoform of Pbx1, Pbx1-d. Pbx1-d overexpression is sufficient to induce an activated/inflammatory phenotype in Jurkat T cells and to decrease their apoptotic response to retinoic acid. PBX1-d is expressed more frequently in the CD4(+) T cells from lupus patients than from healthy controls, and its presence correlates with an increased central memory T cell population. These findings indicate that Pbx1 is a novel lupus susceptibility gene that regulates T cell activation and tolerance.
    The Journal of Immunology 12/2011; 188(2):604-14. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diffuse alveolar hemorrhage is an uncommon, yet often fatal, complication of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Advances in the treatment of alveolar hemorrhage have been hampered because of the heterogeneity of clinical findings and the lack of suitable animal models. A single intraperitoneal injection of pristane induces a lupus-like syndrome characterized by lupus-related autoantibodies and glomerulonephritis in non-autoimmune-prone strains of mice. In addition, C57BL/6 (B6) mice frequently develop alveolar hemorrhage within a few weeks of pristane injection. Immunopathogenesis of pristane-induced alveolar hemorrhage was investigated in the present study. Early (2-4 weeks after injection) mortality due to hemorrhage was unique to C57BL/6 and C57BL/10 strains of mice. Recruitment of the macrophages and neutrophils preceded the hemorrhage by several days, and hemorrhage started 3-7 days after pristane injection in some mice, peaked at 2 weeks (84% in B6) and then resolved by 4 weeks in a majority of mice. Alveolar hemorrhage was independent of MyD88 (myeloid differentiation factor 88), or TLR7 pathways, in contrast to autoantibody production and glomerulonephritis, and was also independent of FcγR or Fas. Rag1(-/-) mice had a reduced prevalence of alveolar hemorrhage compared with B6 (P=0.01) congenics. However, T-cell receptor-deficient mice developed alveolar hemorrhage at a rate comparable to wild-type controls, whereas B6 Igμ(-/-) mice surprisingly had a strikingly reduced prevalence (7% vs 84% in B6, P<0.0001). Reconstitution of B6 Igμ(-/-) mice with wild-type B cells increased the prevalence to 50% (P=0.028). Pristane-induced alveolar hemorrhage is a useful model to study the pathogenesis and develop new therapy for this underappreciated and often life-threatening complication of SLE.
    Laboratory Investigation 08/2011; 91(10):1540-50. · 3.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Anti-RNA polymerase III (RNAP III) antibodies are highly specific markers of scleroderma (systemic sclerosis, SSc) and associated with a rapidly progressing subset of SSc. The clinical presentation of anti-RNAP III positive patients, onset of Raynaud's phenomenon (RP) and SSc in unselected patients in a rheumatology clinic were evaluated. Autoantibodies in sera from 1,966 unselected patients (including 434 systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), 119 SSc, 85 polymyositis/dermatomyositis (PM/DM)) in a rheumatology clinic were screened by radioimmunoprecipitation. Anti-RNAP III positive sera were also tested by immunofluorescence antinuclear antibodies and anti-RNAP III ELISA. Medical records of anti-RNAP III positive patients were reviewed. Among 21 anti-RNAP III positive patients, 16 met the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) SSc criteria at the initial visit but 5 did not; diagnoses were vasculitis, early polyarthritis, renal failure with RP, interstitial lung disease, and Sjögren's syndrome. The first two patients developed rapidly progressive diffuse SSc. An additional case presented with diffuse scleroderma without RP and RP developed two years later. Anti-RNAP III antibodies in these 6 cases of atypical clinical presentation were compared with those in 15 cases of typical (SSc with RP) cases. Anti-RNAP III levels by ELISA were lower in the former group (P = 0.04 by Mann-Whitney test) and 3 of 6 were negative versus only 1 of 15 negative in the latter (P < 0.05 by Fisher's exact test). Three cases of non-SSc anti-RNAP III positive patients had predominant reactivity with RNAP I with weak RNAP III reactivity and had a strong nucleolar staining. Three anti-RNAP III patients, who did not have RP at the initial visit, developed RP months later. Scleroderma developed prior to RP in 5 out of 16 (31%) in the anti-RNAP III group, but this was rare in patients with other autoantibodies. The interval between the onset of RP to scleroderma was short in anti-RNAP III positive patients. Anti-RNAP III antibodies are highly specific for SSc; however, a subset of anti-RNAP III positive patients do not present as typical SSc. The interval between RP and scleroderma in this group is short, and 31% of patients developed scleroderma prior to RP in this group. Anti-RNAP III positive patients may not present as typical SSc and detecting anti-RNAP III may have predictive value.
    Arthritis research & therapy 07/2011; 13(4):R119. · 4.27 Impact Factor
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    Yao Sun, Eric S Sobel, Huabei Jiang
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this pilot clinical study is to assess three-dimensional (3-D) quantitative photoacoustic tomography (qPAT) for in vivo detection of osteoarthritis (OA) in the finger joints. All subject data were handled in compliance with the rules and regulations concerning the privacy and security of protected health information under HIPAA. Seven female subjects (two OA patients and five healthy controls) entered the study and their distal interphalangeal (DIP) joints were examined by a 3-D photoacoustic scanner. 3-D optical absorption coefficient images of all the photoacoustically examined joints were recovered using a 3-D qPAT reconstruction algorithm. The recovered quantitative photoacoustic images revealed obvious difference in the optical absorption coefficient of the joint cavity (cartilage and synovial fluid) between the OA and healthy joints. Quantitative analysis of the joints also indicated an apparent difference in the recovered joint spacing between the OA and healthy subjects. This initial clinical evaluation suggests that it is feasible to detect osteoarthritis in the finger joints with our 3-D qPAT approach, which has paved the way to further statistically evaluate the diagnostic performance of the 3-D qPAT approach in comparison with radiography or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on a sample of hand osteoarthritis.
    Medical Physics 07/2011; 38(7):4009-17. · 2.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CD25(+) FOXP3(+) CD4(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs) are induced by transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) and further expanded by retinoic acid (RA). We have previously shown that this process was defective in T cells from lupus-prone mice expressing the novel isoform of the Pbx1 gene, Pbx1-d. This study tested the hypothesis that CD4(+) T cells from systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients exhibited similar defects in Treg induction in response to TGFβ and RA, and that PBX1-d expression is associated with this defect. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were collected from 142 SLE patients and 83 healthy controls (HCs). The frequency of total, memory and naïve CD4(+) T cells was measured by flow cytometry on fresh cells. PBX1 isoform expression in purified CD4(+) T cells was determined by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). PBMCs were stimulated for three days with anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 in the presence or absence of TGFβ and RA. The expression of CD25 and FOXP3 on CD4(+) T cells was then determined by flow cytometry. In vitro suppression assays were performed with sorted CD25(+) and CD25(-) FOXP3(+) T cells. CD4(+) T cell subsets or their expansion were compared between patients and HCs with two-tailed Mann-Whitney tests and correlations between the frequencies of two subsets were tested with Spearman tests. The percentage of CD25(-) FOXP3(+) CD4(+) (CD25(-) Tregs) T cells was greater in SLE patients than in HCs, but these cells, contrary to their matched CD25(+) counterparts, did not show a suppressive activity. RA-expansion of TGFβ-induced CD25(+) Tregs was significantly lower in SLE patients than in HCs, although SLE Tregs expanded significantly more than HCs in response to either RA or TGFβ alone. Defective responses were also observed for the SLE CD25(-) Tregs and CD25(+) FOXP3(-) activated CD4(+) T cells as compared to controls. PBX1-d expression did not affect Treg induction, but it significantly reduced the expansion of CD25- Tregs and prevented the reduction of the activated CD25(+) FOXP3(-) CD4(+) T cell subset by the combination of TGFβ and RA. We demonstrated that the induction of Tregs by TGFβ and RA was defective in SLE patients and that PBX1-d expression in CD4(+) T cells is associated with an impaired regulation of FOXP3 and CD25 by TGFβ and RA on these cells. These results suggest an impaired integration of the TGFβ and RA signals in SLE T cells and implicate the PBX1 gene in this process.
    Arthritis research & therapy 06/2011; 13(3):R106. · 4.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The presence of anti-topoisomerase I (topo I) antibodies is a classic scleroderma (SSc) marker presumably associated with a unique clinical subset. Here the clinical association of anti-topo I was reevaluated in unselected patients seen in a rheumatology clinic setting. Sera from the initial visit in a cohort of unselected rheumatology clinic patients (n = 1,966, including 434 systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), 119 SSc, 85 polymyositis/dermatomyositis (PM/DM)) were screened by radioimmunoprecipitation. Anti-topo I-positive sera were also tested with immunofluorescence and RNA immunoprecipitation. Twenty-five (15 Caucasian, eight African American, two Latin) anti-topo I positive patients were identified, and all except one met the ACR SSc criteria. Coexistence of other SSc autoantibodies was not observed, except for anti-U1RNP in six cases. When anti-topo I alone versus anti-topo I + U1RNP groups were compared, African American (21% vs. 67%), overlap with SLE (0 vs. 50%; P = 0.009) or PM/DM (0 vs. 33%; P = 0.05) or elevated creatine phosphokinase (CPK) (P = 0.07) were more common in the latter group. In comparison of anti-topo I-positive Caucasians versus African Americans, the latter more frequently had anti-U1RNP (13% vs. 50%), mild/no skin changes (14% vs. 63%; P = 0.03) and overlap with SLE (0 vs. 38%; P = 0.03) and PM/DM (0 vs. 25%; P = 0.05). Anti-topo I detected by immunoprecipitation in unselected rheumatology patients is highly specific for SSc. Anti-topo I coexisting with anti-U1RNP in African American patients is associated with a subset of SLE overlapping with SSc and PM/DM but without apparent sclerodermatous changes.
    Arthritis research & therapy 05/2011; 13(3):R73. · 4.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autoantibodies to topoisomerase I (topo I), RNA polymerase III (RNAPIII), centromere, U3RNP/fibrillarin, Th, PM-Scl, and U1RNP found in scleroderma (SSc) are associated with unique clinical subsets. The effects of race and gender on autoantibody prevalence and clinical manifestations were examined. Autoantibodies in sera from 105 SSc (include 75 Caucasian, 24 African-American, 6 others; 89 females and 16 males) were analyzed by immunofluorescence and immunoprecipitation. Clinical information was from database. SSc-related autoantibodies seldom coexist except for anti-topo I and anti-U1RNP. Anti-topo I (35% vs 15%), anti-U3RNP (30% vs 3%, p = 0.0005), and anti-U1RNP (30% vs 13%) were more common in African-Americans vs Caucasians. Anti-centromere (17%) and anti-PM-Scl (only in 8% of female) were found only in Caucasians. In race/gender combination, all three African-American males had anti-topo I (p = 0.04). Anti-U3RNP (35% vs 3%, p = 0.0005) and anti-U1RNP were common in African-American females. In African-American, all nucleolar dominant staining sera had anti-U3RNP; nuclear pattern was topo I (50%), U1RNP (19%), and RNAPIII (13%). In Caucasian, nucleolar was anti-Th (43%) and PM-Scl (29%); nuclear pattern was RNAPIII (29%), topo I (24%), and U1RNP (18%). Anti-topo I, anti-RNAPIII, and anti-U3RNP were associated with diffuse SSc while anti-centromere, anti-Th, and anti-U1 with limited disease. Proximal scleroderma was less common in African-American with anti-topo I (38% vs 91% in Caucasian, p = 0.04). The production of SSc-related autoantibodies is gender and race dependent, and this can be highly relevant in understanding their clinical significance.
    Clinical Rheumatology 04/2011; 30(10):1333-9. · 2.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autoantibodies in the systemic rheumatic diseases are clinically useful biomarkers of the diagnosis or of certain clinical characteristics. An unusual pattern of immunoprecipitation, in which the D, E, F, and G proteins of small nuclear RNPs (snRNP) but without other components of the snRNP, was noticed at the autoantibody screening. The purpose of this study was to examine the target antigens and clinical manifestations associated with this specificity. Autoantibodies in sera from 1,966 American patients (including 434 with systemic lupus erythematosus, 121 with scleroderma, 86 with polymyositis/dermatomyositis [PM/DM]) and 248 Italian patients with autoimmune diseases were screened by immunoprecipitation of (35) S-methionine-labeled cell extracts. Sera with which D, E, F, and G proteins of snRNP was immunoprecipitated, but without the other snRNP proteins, were further examined by analysis of RNA components by immunoprecipitation (silver staining), Western blotting using survival of motor neuron (SMN) complex, and immunofluorescence. Three sera that immunoprecipitated D, E, F, and G proteins without other components (U1-70K, A, B'/B, C) of the snRNP were found. Four additional proteins (130 kd, 120 kd, 38 kd, and 33 kd) were also commonly immunoprecipitated. The target antigen was identified as SMN complex (Gemin 3, Gemin 4, SMN, and Gemin 2, respectively), which plays a critical role in the assembly of snRNP. In immunofluorescence analyses, all 3 sera showed nuclear dots (Cajal bodies) and cytoplasmic staining. Only 1 serum was weakly positive on Western blotting of SMN, suggesting that these sera mainly recognize native molecule or quaternary structure. All 3 patients were white women with PM, an interesting finding, since deletion or mutation of SMN is known to cause spinal muscular atrophy. SMN complex was identified as a new Cajal body autoantigen recognized by sera from white patients with PM. The biologic and clinical significance of anti-SMN autoantibodies will need to be clarified.
    Arthritis & Rheumatology 03/2011; 63(7):1972-8. · 7.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Exposure to naturally occurring hydrocarbon oils is associated with the development of chronic inflammation and a wide spectrum of pathological findings in humans and animal models. The mechanism underlying the unremitting inflammatory response to hydrocarbons remains largely unclear. The medium-length alkane 2,6,10,14 tetramethylpentadecane (also known as pristane) is a hydrocarbon that potently elicits chronic peritonitis characterized by persistent infiltration of neutrophils and monocytes. In this study, we reveal the essential role of IL-1α in sustaining the chronic recruitment of neutrophils following 2,6,10,14 tetramethylpentadecane treatment. IL-1α and IL-1R signaling promote the migration of neutrophils to the peritoneal cavity in a CXCR2-dependent manner. This mechanism is at least partially dependent on the production of the neutrophil chemoattractant CXCL5. Moreover, although chronic infiltration of inflammatory monocytes is dependent on a different pathway requiring TLR-7, type I IFN receptor, and CCR2, the adaptor molecules MyD88, IL-1R-associated kinase (IRAK)-4, IRAK-1, and IRAK-2 are shared in regulating the recruitment of both monocytes and neutrophils. Taken together, our findings uncover an IL-1α-dependent mechanism of neutrophil recruitment in hydrocarbon-induced peritonitis and illustrate the interactions of innate immune pathways in chronic inflammation.
    The Journal of Immunology 02/2011; 186(3):1747-54. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present for the first time in vivo experimental evidence that multispectral quantitative photoacoustic tomography (qPAT) has the potential to detect osteoarthritis (OA) in the finger joints. In this pilot study, 2 OA patients and 4 healthy volunteers were enrolled, and their distal interphalangeal (DIP) joints were examined photoacoustically by a multispectral PAT scanner. Images of tissue physiological/functional parameters including oxy-hemoglobin, deoxyhemoglobin, oxygen saturation and water content along with tissue acoustic velocity of all the examined joints were simultaneously recovered using a finite element reconstruction algorithm for multispectral photoacoustic measurements. The recovered multispectral photoacoustic images show that the OA joints have significantly elevated water content, decreased oxygen saturation, and increased acoustic velocity compared to the normal joints.
    Proc SPIE 02/2011;
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    ABSTRACT: This study presents a computer-aided classification method to distinguish osteoarthritis finger joints from healthy ones based on the functional images captured by x-ray guided diffuse optical tomography. Three imaging features, joint space width, optical absorption, and scattering coefficients, are employed to train a Least Squares Support Vector Machine (LS-SVM) classifier for osteoarthritis classification. The 10-fold validation results show that all osteoarthritis joints are clearly identified and all healthy joints are ruled out by the LS-SVM classifier. The best sensitivity, specificity, and overall accuracy of the classification by experienced technicians based on manual calculation of optical properties and visual examination of optical images are only 85%, 93%, and 90%, respectively. Therefore, our LS-SVM based computer-aided classification is a considerably improved method for osteoarthritis diagnosis.
    Journal of X-Ray Science and Technology 01/2011; 19(4):531-44. · 1.09 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
414.16 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1995–2014
    • University of Florida
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Department of Biomedical Engineering
      • • College of Medicine
      • • Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
      • • Department of Physiological Sciences
      Gainesville, Florida, United States
  • 2010
    • Central South University
      • Institute of Biomedical Engineering
      Changsha, Hunan, China
  • 2009
    • Osaka University
      Suika, Ōsaka, Japan
  • 2005
    • Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro
      • Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche ed Oncologia Umana (DIMO)
      Bari, Apulia, Italy
  • 1991–1997
    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Department of Microbiology and Immunology
      Chapel Hill, NC, United States