(1/3192) Fine specificity of the autoimmune response to the Ro/SSA and La/SSB ribonucleoproteins.

The fine specificity of the Ro and La proteins has been studied by several techniques. In general, there is agreement in a qualitative sense that autoantibodies bind multiple epitopes. For some specific antibody binding, different studies agree quantitatively, for instance, the binding of the carboxyl terminus of 60-kd Ro as described by 2 studies using different techniques and the presence of an epitope within the leucine zipper of 52-kd Ro. In addition, there is general agreement about the location of a prominent epitope at the RRM motif region of the La molecule. On the other hand, the many specific epitope regions of the molecules differ among these studies. These discrepancies are likely the result of using different techniques, sera, and peptide constructs as well as a result of inherent advantages and disadvantages in the individual approaches. Several theories concerning the origin of not only the antibodies, but also the diseases themselves, have been generated from studies of the fine specificity of antibody binding. These include a theory of a primordial foreign antigen for anti-Ro autoimmunity, molecular mimicry with regard to La and CCHB, as well as the association of anti-Ro with HLA. These remain unproven, but are of continuing interest. An explanation for the association of anti-60-kd Ro and anti-52-kd Ro in the sera of patients has sprung from evaluating antibody binding. Data demonstrating multiple epitopes are part of a large body of evidence that strongly suggests an antigen-driven immune response. This means that the autoantigens are directly implicated in initiating and sustaining autoimmunity in their associated diseases. A number of studies have investigated the possibility of differences in the immune response to these antigens in SS and SLE sera. While several differences have been reported, none have been reproduced in a second cohort of patients. Furthermore, none of the reported differences may be sufficiently robust for clinical purposes, such as distinguishing between SS with systemic features and mild SLE, although some might be promising. For instance, in at least 3 groups of SLE patients, no binding of residues spanning amino acids 21-41 of 60-kd Ro has been found. Meanwhile, 1 of those studies found that 41% of sera from patients with primary SS bound the 60-kd Ro peptide 21-41. Perhaps future studies will elaborate a clinical role of such a difference among SS and SLE patients. Study of the epitopes of these autoantigens has, in part, led to a new animal model of anti-Ro and anti-La. Non-autoimmune-prone animals are immunized with proteins or peptides that make up the Ro/La RNP. Such animals develop an autoimmune response to the entire particle, not just the immunogen. This response has been hypothesized to arise from autoreactive B cells. In another, older animal model of disease, the MRL-lpr/lpr mouse, B cells have recently been shown to be required for the generation of abnormal, autoreactive T cells. Thus, there are now powerful data indicating that B cells that produce autoantibodies are directly involved in the pathogenesis of disease above and beyond the formation of immune complexes. Given that the autoreactive B cell is potentially critical to the underlying pathogenesis of disease, then studying these cells will be crucial to further understanding the origin of diseases associated with Ro and La autoimmunity. Hopefully, an increased understanding will eventually lead to improved treatment of patients. Progress in the area of treatment will almost surely be incremental, and studies of the fine specificity of autoantibody binding will be a part of the body of basic knowledge contributing to ultimate advancement. In the future, the animal models will need to be examined with regard to immunology and immunochemistry as well as genetics. The development of these autoantibodies has not been studied extensively because upon presentation to medical care, virtually all patients have a full-  (+info)

(2/3192) Development and function of autospecific dual TCR+ T lymphocytes.

Recent studies have challenged the long held concept that each T lymphocyte expresses on its surface only a single, unique alphabetaTCR. Dual TCR+ T cells have been recognized, however, their origin and potential to escape screening for self-reactivity remain obscure. We now report the thymic generation of dual alphabetaTCR+ T cells in the H-2Db/H-Y-specific TCR transgenic (Tg) mouse. Dual TCR+ thymocytes were positively selected less efficiently than single TCR+ thymocytes, although a subset attained maturity. Importantly, when TCR Tg mice were bred onto a negatively selecting background, auto-specific cells survived central deletion and matured as CD4+ dual TCR+ cells. These cells were autoreactive when CD8 expression was restored. The existence of autospecific, dual TCR+ T cells may have implications for the maintenance of self tolerance.  (+info)

(3/3192) Induction of autoimmunity by multivalent immunodominant and subdominant T cell determinants of La (SS-B).

We investigated the consequences of altering the form and valence of defined autodeterminants on the initiation and spreading of experimentally induced La/Ro autoimmunity. Anti-La and Ro (SS-A) Ab responses were monitored following immunization of healthy mice with defined immunodominant and subdominant T cell determinants of the La (SS-B) autoantigen synthesized as either monomeric or multiple antigenic (MAP) peptides. Abs to mouse La (mLa) developed faster and were of higher titer in mice immunized with the subdominant mLa25-44 MAP compared with mice immunized with the 25-44 monomer. Rapid intermolecular spreading of the autoimmune response to 60-kDa Ro was observed in AKR/J mice immunized with mLa25-44 MAP, but not in mice immunized repeatedly with monomeric peptide. A/J mice immunized and boosted with the known tolerogenic mLa287-301 determinant delivered as monomeric peptide failed to develop Abs to either intact mLa or mLa287-301 peptide. However, immunization with the multivalent mLa287-301 peptide led to the rapid production of high titer mLa autoantibodies associated with a proliferative T cell response to the mLa287-301 peptide. The data suggested that the enhanced immunogenicity of MAPs was not due to augmented Ag presentation or T cell stimulation. However, MAP-, but not monomer peptide-, containing immune complexes were potent substrates for Ab-dependent fixation of complement. These results demonstrate that the form of Ag responsible for inducing autoimmunity can profoundly influence the nature and magnitude of the immune response. Thus, molecular mimicry of tolerogenic and nontolerogenic self determinants might trigger autoimmunity under conditions of altered valence.  (+info)

(4/3192) Clinical, biochemical and molecular genetic features of Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy.

Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) has traditionally been considered a disease causing severe and permanent visual loss in young adult males. In nearly all families with LHON it is associated with one of three pathogenic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations, at bp 11778, 3460 or 14484. The availability of mtDNA confirmation of a diagnosis of LHON has demonstrated that LHON occurs with a wider range of age at onset and more commonly in females than previously recognised. In addition, analysis of patients grouped according to mtDNA mutation has demonstrated differences both in the clinical features of visual failure and in recurrence risks to relatives associated with each of the pathogenic mtDNA mutations. Whilst pathogenic mtDNA mutations are required for the development of LHON, other factors must be reponsible for the variable penetrance and male predominance of this condition. Available data on a number of hypotheses including the role of an additional X-linked visual loss susceptibility locus, impaired mitochondrial respiratory chain activity, mtDNA heteroplasmy, environmental factors and autoimmunity are discussed. Subacute visual failure is seen in association with all three pathogenic LHON mutations. However, the clinical and experimental data reviewed suggest differences in the phenotype associated with each of the three mutations which may reflect variation in the disease mechanisms resulting in this common end-point.  (+info)

(5/3192) Vaccination with a recombinant vaccinia virus encoding a "self" antigen induces autoimmune vitiligo and tumor cell destruction in mice: requirement for CD4(+) T lymphocytes.

Many human and mouse tumor antigens are normal, nonmutated tissue differentiation antigens. Consequently, immunization with these "self" antigens could induce autoimmunity. When we tried to induce immune responses to five mouse melanocyte differentiation antigens, gp100, MART-1, tyrosinase, and tyrosinase-related proteins (TRP) 1 and TRP-2, we observed striking depigmentation and melanocyte destruction only in the skin of mice inoculated with a vaccinia virus encoding mouse TRP-1. These mice rejected a lethal challenge of B16 melanoma, indicating the immune response against TRP-1 could destroy both normal and malignant melanocytes. Cytotoxic T lymphocytes specific for TRP-1 could not be detected in depigmented mice, but high titers of IgG anti-TRP-1 antibodies were present. Experiments with knockout mice revealed an absolute dependence on major histocompatibility complex class II, but not major histocompatibility complex class I, for the induction of both vitiligo and tumor protection. Together, these results suggest that the deliberate induction of self-reactivity using a recombinant viral vector can lead to tumor destruction, and that in this model, CD4(+) T lymphocytes are an integral part of this process. Vaccine strategies targeting tissue differentiation antigens may be valuable in cancers arising from nonessential cells and organs such as melanocytes, prostate, testis, breast, and ovary.  (+info)

(6/3192) Autoimmunity resulting from cytokine treatment predicts long-term survival in patients with metastatic renal cell cancer.

PURPOSE: In patients undergoing cytokine therapy, systemically applied interleukin-2 (IL-2) and/or interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) have been reported to induce thyroid dysfunction as well as thyroid autoantibodies. We analyzed the correlation of thyroid autoimmunity with HLA phenotype, various other autoimmune parameters, and patient survival. PATIENTS AND METHODS: For this purpose, antithyroglobulin autoantibodies, antimicrosomal thyroid autoantibodies, thyroglobulin receptor autoantibodies, thyroid dysfunction, and multiple clinical parameters were determined in 329 unselected patients with metastatic renal cell cancer before and after systemic IL-2 and IFN-alpha2 therapy. For statistical analysis, we used both univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards models and the two-tailed Fisher's exact test. RESULTS: Antithyroglobulin autoantibodies and antimicrosomal thyroid autoantibodies were detected in 60 patients (18%); positive autoantibody titers of various other autoimmune parameters were statistically unrelated. The presence of thyroid autoantibodies was correlated with prolonged survival (P<.0001). There was a statistically significant difference in frequencies of HLA-Cw7 expression between thyroid autoantibody-positive and -negative patients (P< or =.05), and the Cw7 expression was associated with prolonged overall survival (P = .009). CONCLUSION: The evaluation of thyroid autoantibodies during cytokine therapy could be a useful prognostic marker for patients with renal cell carcinoma who benefit from cytokine treatment. IL-2- and IFN-alpha2-induced tumor control and prolonged survival may require breaking of immunologic tolerance against self-antigens.  (+info)

(7/3192) Evidence of cell-mediated cardiac myocyte injury involved in the heart failure of a patient with progressive systemic sclerosis.

A 54-year-old woman with progressive systemic sclerosis (PSS) was admitted to hospital because of dyspnea and chest pain. Echocardiogram revealed diffuse hypokinesis of the left ventricle (ejection fraction 24%). Methylprednisolone, heparin, and diuretics were administered, without benefit. Anemia, thrombocytopenia, and renal dysfunction rapidly progressed, and she died of heart failure on the 14th hospital day. Immunohistochemical study of the myocardial tissue showed mild to moderate cell infiltration, mainly consisting of natural killer (NK) cells, macrophages, cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), and T helper cells. Perforin, a cytolytic factor, was expressed in the infiltrating CTLs and NK cells, indicating that these cells were activated killer cells. Furthermore, human leukocyte antigen classes I and II, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, as well as costimulatory molecules B7-1, B7-2, and CD40, all of which are known not to be expressed in cardiac myocytes under normal conditions, were moderately to strongly expressed in cardiac myocytes. There was no detectable level of enterovirus genomes in the polymerase chain reaction products from the myocardial tissue of this patient. These findings strongly suggest that the infiltrating killer cells recognized cardiac myocytes as target cells and directly damaged them by releasing perforin. Enhanced expression of these antigens may have played an important role in the activation and cytotoxicity of the infiltrating killer cells. Absence of enterovirus genomes in the myocardial tissue may suggest that this autoimmune process is primarily induced by PSS.  (+info)

(8/3192) Clinical presentation and early course of type 1 diabetes in patients with and without thyroid autoimmunity.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the prevalence of thyroid autoimmunity (TAI) in patients with recent-onset type 1 diabetes and to determine the influence of TAI on the clinical presentation and evolution of type 1 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We studied 111 newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes patients > 13 years old. The diagnosis of TAI was based on medical history and measurement of thyroid peroxidase (microsomal) antibodies (TPOAs). Clinical presentation of diabetes, beta-cell autoimmune markers (GADAs and 1A2As), and evolution of insulin-secretory reserves and metabolic control during the first 2 years of follow-up were analyzed. Differences between groups were evaluated by Student's t test or the chi 2 test. The influence of TAI on follow-up data was evaluated by multiple logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: TAI was present in 31 patients (14 TPOA+ patients with normal thyroid function, 12 TPOA+ patients with thyroid dysfunction, and 5 patients with previously diagnosed TAI). TAI was more prevalent in women than in men (43.7 vs. 15.9%, P = 0.001). beta-Cell autoimmunity was more prevalent in patients with TAI than in those without TAI (93.5 vs. 76.3%, P = 0.03). The evolution of insulin requirements, metabolic control, and insulin-secretory reserves was comparable in the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: TAI is present in many type 1 diabetes patients at the time of diagnosis and is associated with a high prevalence of thyroid dysfunction. The clinical presentation of diabetes and the evolution of metabolic control and insulin-secretory reserves are not influenced by the presence of TAI. Patients with type 1 diabetes should be screened for TAI at diagnosis.  (+info)