Hungarian Immunology

[An interview with writer Pál Békés]

SZEKANECZ Zoltán, SZŰCS Gabriella, SZÁNTÓ Sándor, SZABÓ Zoltán

JANUARY 20, 2007

Hungarian Immunology - 2007;6(01-02)

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Hungarian Immunology

[In vitro methods for measuring phagocytosis and killing of bacteria by neutrophil granulocytes]

RADA Balázs

[Accounting for about two-thirds of our white blood cells, neutrophilic granulocytes are key members of the innate immune system of the human body. They are terminally differentiated cells equipped with numerous antimicrobial weapons. Neutrophils are the first to arrive at sites of infections; their main mission is to phagocytose and destroy bacteria and funghi entering the human body. They fullfill a central role in both the inflammatory response of the body and the coordination of the innate and acquired immune systems’ function. Their deficient performance leads to impaired resistance of the host against microbes and to higher frequency of infections; their uncontrolled function, in turn, may damage our own tissues. Because of all of this, it is highly important from both basic and clinical perspective that we know as much as possible about the function of our neutrophilic granulocytes. In this paper methods available for measuring phagocytic and killing capacities of human neutrophils are reviewed. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. The method chosen mainly depends on experimental tools available and informations needed.]

Hungarian Immunology

[Autoimmunity as a result of escape from RNA surveillance]

SEMSEI Imre, DARISE Farris, BACHMANN Michael

[The pathomechanisms of autoimmune diseases are still unknown. Numerous factors are thought to play a role in the formation of the diseases (genetic arrangement, hormonal factors, exogen and endogen viruses, etc.) and many hypotheses have been formulated to explain the role of these factors. Most of the theories suspect that disturbance of the immune system is the clue but according to other researchers the immune system performs properly and one has to find other alterations that could be blamed for the formation of the autoimmune diseases. The aim of our present work is to show that certain genetic alterations together with the mistake of the RNA surveillance system could lead to autoimmune reactions. Results of immune research conducted in the past two decades revealed that there are mutations in the hot spot region of exon 7 of the La gene in the peripheral lymphocytes of patients suffering from certain autoimmune diseases (Sjögren's syndrome, SLE). RNAs originated from the mutant gene contain premature termination codon and therefore the RNA surveillance mechanism should get rid of these RNAs in order to prevent the formation of mutant proteins. However, because of the mistake of the surveillance system mutant proteins are formed that could finally lead to the autoimmune reactions.]

Hungarian Immunology

[The immunmodulatory effect of 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D3]

SZEGEDI Andrea, NAGY Georgina, BARÁTH Sándor, GAÁL János

[1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D3, the biologically active metabolite of vitamin D3 plays an important role not only in bone and calcium metabolism but in differentiation of many cells and in the immunomodulation. It exerts its biological effects via vitamin D receptor (VDR) expressed in antigen-presenting cells and activated T cells. VDR is a member of the superfamily of nuclear hormone receptors. The receptor- ligand interaction activates nuclear transcription factors or the receptor binds directly to vitamin D responsive elements in the promoter regions of cytokine genes. Dendritic cells (DC) are the primary targets of vitamin D3; it inhibits the differentiation and maturation of DCs, and hereby DC-dependent T cell activation. These immunomodulatory activities have been demonstrated in vitro and in different models of autoimmune diseases and transplantation in vivo. In this report we review the regulatory effects of active vitamin D3 on the immune system and the latest results emphasizing the immunomodulatory role of 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D3 which might be utilized more in therapy.]

Hungarian Immunology

[Biological therapy of arthritis and systemic autoimmune diseases - 2007]

SZEKANECZ Zoltán, TAMÁSI László

[Biological therapy acts at a specific point of inflammation. Today, rheumatoid arthritis is the prototype disease in this context due to the relatively high number of accessible patients and wellstandardized follow-up tools. However, apart from this disease, biological therapy has been introduced to the treatment of other diseases including various forms of arthritis, such as ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis, as well as systemic autoimmune disorders, such as lupus, scleroderma, inflammatory myopathies and Sjogren’s syndrome. Anti-tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) agents play a central role in biological therapy as these agents have been successfully tried in most of these diseases. However, when seeking for specific targets for biologicals, specific pathogenic factors of the given disease should be determined. For example, while anti-TNF agents seem to be most effective in various types of arthritis, anti-B cell therapy may be the first choice in other autoimmune conditions, such as lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome or dermatomyositis. It is important to consider the specific characteristics of the administered agents as there may be differences regarding side-effects.]

Hungarian Immunology

[The relationship between metabolic diseases and the immune system]

SIPKA Sándor, PARAGH György, FÜLÖP Péter, MAGYAR Pál, ENDRE László, GALUSKA László

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[INTRODUCTION - This article analyses the socialisation in the medical profession using complex approach, and taking Merton’s definition as a starting point. METHODS - Qualitative sociological, semistructured deep-interview method. RESULTS - The motivation of medical students in choosing their profession have not changed in the past years. The socialisational phases can clearly be observed during their training, these can serve as a basis for empirical observations. The role of classes related to behavioural studies is significant, while the opinion of the students about the teaching methods is diverse. Taking a family member as a model or work experience gained in medical fields is an advantage in the socialisational process. Temporal or partial leaving of the profession are new phenomena. CONCLUSION - Considering the characteristics of qualitative observational methods, the results of the present analysis may serve as a starting point for further empirical observations based on a representative model.]

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[ INTRODUCTION - The number of new cases of colorectal cancer is over 10 000 and there are around 5000 deaths per year in Hungary. A nationwide colon cancer screening program was launched in 2018. AIMS - Concerning the upcoming national screening, our aim was to explore attitudes, preferences and knowledge of specialists (family medicine, gastroenterology, surgery, oncology, pathology) who will be engaged in screening, diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer. METHOD - Before the start of the program we conducted semi-structured interviews with 20 representatives of specialties mentioned above. Interview-questions focused on knowledge (epidemiology, screening methods, program-related), preferences (screening method, protocol) and impact of the program on medical practice. Quan­ti­ta­tive and qualitative methods were used for analysis. RESULTS - Incidence of colon cancer was well known but its mortality in Hungary was underestimated. The public health significance of colorectal cancer scored 7 on a 10-point Likert scale and all participants agreed with introduction of the program. 12 people knew the chosen protocol (two-stage), only a single person mentioned one-stage (colonoscopy), and 7 had no information. 16 people prefer colonoscopy as the best screening method. 11 support two-stage protocol, 5 do not support but accept it, 4 would only accept the one-stage approach. 13 people think their duties will increase considerably. CONCLUSIONS - Our review partners consider colorectal screening in Hungary as an initiative to be supported. They expect increase of workload in their everyday medical practice and assume that the current endoscopic capacity will be overburdened. The majority prefers two-stage protocol because of cost-effectiveness while arguing that the colonoscopy has a bad reputation among the general population, nevertheless they consider colonoscopy as the best method of screening. ]

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