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      Gene Expression Profiling in Behcet's Disease Indicates an Autoimmune Component in the Pathogenesis of the Disease and Opens New Avenues for Targeted Therapy


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          Behçet disease (BD) is a chronic inflammatory multisystem disease characterized by oral and genital ulcers, uveitis, and skin lesions. Disease etiopathogenesis is still unclear. We aim to elucidate some aspects of BD pathogenesis and to identify specific gene signatures in peripheral blood cells (PBCs) of patients with active disease using novel gene expression and network analysis. 179 genes were modulated in 10 PBCs of BD patients when compared to 10 healthy donors. Among differentially expressed genes the top enriched gene function was immune response, characterized by upregulation of Th17-related genes and type I interferon- (IFN-) inducible genes. Th17 polarization was confirmed by FACS analysis. The transcriptome identified gene classes (vascular damage, blood coagulation, and inflammation) involved in the pathogenesis of the typical features of BD. Following network analysis, the resulting interactome showed 5 highly connected regions (clusters) enriched in T and B cell activation pathways and 2 clusters enriched in type I IFN, JAK/STAT, and TLR signaling pathways, all implicated in autoimmune diseases. We report here the first combined analysis of the transcriptome and interactome in PBCs of BD patients in the active stage of disease. This approach generates useful insights in disease pathogenesis and suggests an autoimmune component in the origin of BD.

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          T helper type 1 and 17 cells determine efficacy of interferon-beta in multiple sclerosis and experimental encephalomyelitis.

          Interferon-beta (IFN-beta) is the major treatment for multiple sclerosis. However, this treatment is not always effective. Here we have found congruence in outcome between responses to IFN-beta in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). IFN-beta was effective in reducing EAE symptoms induced by T helper type 1 (T(H)1) cells but exacerbated disease induced by T(H)17 cells. Effective treatment in T(H)1-induced EAE correlated with increased interleukin-10 (IL-10) production by splenocytes. In T(H)17-induced disease, the amount of IL-10 was unaltered by treatment, although, unexpectedly, IFN-beta treatment still reduced IL-17 production without benefit. Both inhibition of IL-17 and induction of IL-10 depended on IFN-gamma. In the absence of IFN-gamma signaling, IFN-beta therapy was ineffective in EAE. In RRMS patients, IFN-beta nonresponders had higher IL-17F concentrations in serum compared to responders. Nonresponders had worse disease with more steroid usage and more relapses than did responders. Hence, IFN-beta is proinflammatory in T(H)17-induced EAE. Moreover, a high IL-17F concentration in the serum of people with RRMS is associated with nonresponsiveness to therapy with IFN-beta.
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            TLR2 and TLR4 in autoimmune diseases: a comprehensive review.

            Autoimmune diseases are immune disorders characterized by T cell hyperactivity and B cell overstimulation leading to overproduction of autoantibodies. Although the pathogenesis of various autoimmune diseases remains to be elucidated, environmental factors have been thought to contribute to the initiation and maintenance of auto-respond inflammation. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are pattern recognition receptors belonging to innate immunity that recognize and defend invading microorganisms. Besides these exogenous pathogen-associated molecular patterns, TLRs can also bind with damage-associated molecular patterns produced under strike or by tissue damage or cells apoptosis. It is believed that TLRs build a bridge between innate immunity and autoimmunity. There are five adaptors to TLRs including MyD88, TRIF, TIRAP/MAL, TRAM, and SARM. Upon activation, TLRs recruit specific adaptors to initiate the downstream signaling pathways leading to the production of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Under certain circumstances, ligation of TLRs drives to aberrant activation and unrestricted inflammatory responses, thereby contributing to the perpetuation of inflammation in autoimmune diseases. In the past, most studies focused on the intracellular TLRs, such as TLR3, TLR7, and TLR9, but recent studies reveal that cell surface TLRs, especially TLR2 and TLR4, also play an essential role in the development of autoimmune diseases and afford multiple therapeutic targets. In this review, we summarized the biological characteristics, signaling mechanisms of TLR2/4, the negative regulators of TLR2/4 pathway, and the pivotal function of TLR2/4 in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, Sjogren's syndrome, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, and autoimmune diabetes.
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              Behcet’s disease: epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis

              Behcet's Disease (BD) is classified among vasculitides. The aim of this review was to put together different known reports in order to help the reader to better understand the disease, to avoid the frequent misdiagnosis, and to decide the best treatment. Areas covered: a) Epidemiology: BD is rare, and is seen along the Silk Road, from 20 to 420/100,000 in Turkey and 80/100,000 in Iran, to 0.64/100,000 in the UK. b) Clinical manifestations: oral aphthosis is seen in more than 95% of patients, genital aphthosis (60-90%), skin (pseudofolliculitis/erythema nodosum, 40-90%), eyes (uveitis/retinal vasculitis, 45-90%), gastrointestinal (diarrhea/hemorrhage/perforation/pain, 4-38%), vascular (venous/arterial thrombosis, aneurysm, 2.2-50%), neurological (all kinds, especially meningo-encephalitis, 2.3-38.5%), and articular (arthralgia/arthritis/ankylosing spondylitis, 11.6-93%). c) Pathergy test is positive in some patients: 8.6% (in India) to 70.7% (in China). This data was extracted from the five nationwide surveys and the largest case series from BD conference reports and a Pubmed search. Expert commentary: Diagnosis is clinical but classification/diagnosis criteria may help. The best criteria for BD is the International Criteria for Behcet's Disease (ICBD). BD is a multisystem disease progressing by attacks and remissions. Each attack may resemble the preceding or it may be different in duration, severity, and the systems involved.

                Author and article information

                J Immunol Res
                J Immunol Res
                Journal of Immunology Research
                24 April 2018
                : 2018
                1Immunology Area, Pediatric Hospital Bambino Gesù, Viale San Paolo 15, 00146 Rome, Italy
                2Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Histology, University of Genova, Via G.B. Marsano 10, 16132 Genova, Italy
                3Department of Medicine, University of Verona, Piazzale L.A. Scuro 10, 37134 Verona, Italy
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Marcella Reale

                Copyright © 2018 Antonio Puccetti et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Research Article


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