Hungarian Immunology

[Autumn international conferences]

SZEKANECZ Zoltán

MAY 10, 2004

Hungarian Immunology - 2004;3(04)

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Hungarian Immunology

[Immunology of Felty’s syndrome]

BÁLINT Géza, BÁLINT Péter

[Felty’s syndrome can be regarded as “super-rheumatoid” disease. Immungenetically the syndrome is much more homogenous, than rheumatoid arthritis. HLA-DRB1*0401 antigen is present in 83% of the patients. Felty’s syndrome develops usually after a longer course of rheumatoid arthritis, in 1% of rheumatoid patients. Rheumatoid arthritis patients with long lasting unexplained neutropenia can be diagnosed having Felty’s syndrome, even without detectable splenomegaly. On the contrary, rheumatoid arthritis with splenomegaly, but without present or previous neutropenia with unexplained origin cannot be regarded as having Felty’s syndrome. Inspite of the fact, that the arthritis of Felty’s syndrome can be inactive, because of the neutropenia and increased risk of recurrent infections, the patients should be kept under tight supervision, and should be properly treated, if required. Immunologically Felty’s syndrome is characterized by rheumatoid factor positivity in 95-100%, ANA positivity in 50-100%, antihistone positivity in 63-83%. Antibodies against dsDNA rarely, but against ssDNA frequently occur. No anti Sm and interestingly no anti Ro and anti La antibodies can be detected inspite of the high incidence of associated Sjögren’s syndrome. Immunoglobulin levels are higher and complement levels are lower, than in rheumatoid arthritis. Circulating immuncomplex level is usually high. Non-specific antineutrophil anticitoplasmatic antibodies can be found in high percentage. The neutropenia of Felty’s syndrome can be either caused by increased IgG neutrophilic binding activity or by inhibition of the granulocytes colony growing in the bone marrow, by peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Expansion of large granular lymphocytes can be seen in 30-40% of patients with Felty’s syndrome. Large granular lymphocyte syndrome is not rarely associated with rheumatoid arthritis. The neutrophil account is normal or elevated in this syndrome, but splenomegaly occurs. These cases are called as pseudo Felty’s syndrome. The patients with Felty's syndrome suffering from recurrent infections required treatment even if the arthritis is inactive. Methotrexate treatment should be started first, if this treatment fails, other disease modifying drugs or colony stimulating factor can be given. There is no experience with other biological treatments. In treatment of resistant cases splenectomy is indicated. Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs should be better avoided.]

Hungarian Immunology

[Changes of immune system in the elderly]

MEKKEL Gabriella, BARTA Zsolt, BAKÓ Gyula

[”Immunosenescence” means the change of the immune system with ageing. Ageing of the immun system is a physiological process, based on complex immunregulatory alterations, which make the elderly more susceptible for infections, malignant and autoimmun diseases. It’s important to differentiate the primary (physiological) and secondory (caused by diseases) modifications of immunregulatory system. After reviewing the strict Senieur protocoll, which makes a basis for gerontological/geriatry studies, the authors survey in details the changes of the each cell types of the immune system. The impaired functions of the NK (natural killer) and PMN (polymorphonuclear) cells and macrophags (as the parts of innate immunity), the decreased numbers of T lymphocyts, and the less specific antibodies produced by B lymphocyts (as the part of the acquired immunity) together are responsible for the increased susceptibility of the elderly to infections, and for the higher prevalence of malignancies in elderly patients. The imbalance of pro- and anti-inflammatoric cytokines and the TH1- TH2 shift also play role in this process. Appearance of autoantigens and the increased autoreactivity are in the background of the frequency autoimmun diseases in the elderly. The development of malignant diseases is a complex process, caused by on the one hand the changes in innate immunity, on the other the decreased activity of suppressor mechanisms. These changes are not correctly known, but the literature grows increasingly. The good command of the molecular mechanisms provides the facilities to improve remedial interventions in the future.]

Hungarian Immunology

[Therapeutic treatment of rheumatoid arthritis by gene therapy-induced apoptosis]

JAMES M. Woods, VOLIN V. Michael

[Gene therapy was initially conceptualized as a treatment for individuals with genetic disorders, where defective genes would be replaced with functional ones. This concept was eventually broadened to include the use of gene therapy as a delivery mechanism for gene products effective in the treatment of diseases. The latter use of gene therapy, essentially as a drug delivery mechanism, was recognized to be particularly useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis because it may have many advantages over traditional therapies. Two groups of target genes that are potentially useful for gene transfer include soluble inflammatory mediators that in theory could suppress the inflammatory process, and apoptotic mediators that may induce cell death, thereby suppressing the accumulation of inflammatory cells in the joint. To date the former group of target genes has received most of the attention, but it is the latter group of apoptosis-inducing targets that will be discussed in this review. We will focus our discussion on target genes that have shown success at inducing apoptosis in animal models of arthritis and will also include discussion of the apoptotic pathways that are altered in the attempts to reduce inflamed synovial tissue.]

Hungarian Immunology

[History of immunology in Hungary Part V]

KARASSZON Dénes, CSABA Béla

Hungarian Immunology

[Investigation of activated T-cells by non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients]

VÁRÓCZY László, GERGELY Lajos, ALEKSZA Magdolna, MILTÉNYI Zsófia, ILLÉS Árpád

[BACKGROUND - The immune system has several mechanisms to fight against developing malignant cell clones in the host, one of them is the activated T-cell response. Both CD4+ helper and CD8+ cytotoxic T-cells bear CD69 and HLA-DR molecules as important surface activation markers. AIM - Our aim was to determine, how the ratio of activated T-cells change in the peripheral blood of non-Hodgkin-lymphoma patients during the periods of polychemotherapy. PATIENTS AND METHODS - We used the peripheral blood samples of 43 non-Hodgkin-lymphoma’s patients (20 females, 23 males, mean age 52.4 years). We determined the level of CD3+/HLADR+ and CD3+/CD69+ T-cell subsets before, during and after the periods of polychemotherapy, using the methods of immunofluorescence stain and flow cytometry. RESULTS - We found the ratio of CD3+/HLA-DR+ cells significantly higher in non-Hodgkin-lymphoma’s patients before treatment compared to healthy controls (10.63% vs. 2.97%, p<0.001). During the period of polychemotherapy, this ratio began to increase significantly (16.94% vs. 10.63%, p=0.006). The level of CD3+/CD69+ cells did not change significantly. After treatment, the ratio of activated T-cells decreased, however, we detected significantly higher rate of CD3+/HLA-DR+ lymphocytes in patients who relapsed within one year than in those who stayed in remission (9.55% vs. 20.62%, p<0.001). CONCLUSION - Investigation of CD3+/HLA-DR+ activated T-cells might be a promising method to determine the immune defence and this way the prognostics of lymphoma patients.]

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[Zonisamide: one of the first-line antiepileptic drugs in focal epilepsy ]

JANSZKY József, HORVÁTH Réka, KOMOLY Sámuel

[Chronic administration of antiepileptic drugs without history of unprovoked epileptic seizures are not recommended for epilepsy prophylaxis. Conversely, if the patient suffered the first unprovoked seizure, then the presence of epileptiform discharges on the EEG, focal neurological signs, and the presence of epileptogenic lesion on the MRI are risk factors for a second seizure (such as for the development of epilepsy). Without these risk factors, the chance of a second seizure is about 25-30%, while the presence of these risk factors (for example signs of previous stroke, neurotrauma, or encephalitis on the MRI) can predict >70% seizure recurrence. Thus the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) re-defined the term ’epilepsy’ which can be diagnosed even after the first seizure, if the risk of seizure recurrence is high. According to this definition, we can start antiepileptic drug therapy after a single unprovoked seizure. There are four antiepileptic drugs which has the highest evidence (level „A”) as first-line initial monotherapy for treating newly diagnosed epilepsy. These are: carbamazepine, phenytoin, levetiracetam, and zonisamide (ZNS). The present review focuses on the ZNS. Beacuse ZNS can be administrated once a day, it is an optimal drug for maintaining patient’s compliance and for those patients who have a high risk for developing a non-compliance (for example teenagers and young adults). Due to the low interaction potential, ZNS treatment is safe and effective in treating epilepsy of elderly people. ZNS is an ideal drug in epilepsy accompanied by obesity, because ZNS has a weight loss effect, especially in obese patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Evaluation of anxiety, depression and marital relationships in patients with migraine

DEMIR Fıgen Ulku, BOZKURT Oya

Aim - The aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency and characteristics of attacks in patients with migraine, to determine the effects of anxiety or depressive symptoms, and to evaluate the marital relationships of patients with migraine. Method - Thirty patients who were admitted to the neurology outpatient clinic of our hospital between July 2018 and October 2018 and were diagnosed with migraine according to the 2013 International Headache Society (IHS) diagnostic criteria were included in this cross-sectional study. Age, sex, headache frequency and severity, depressive traits, marital satisfaction and anxiety status were examined. We used the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Maudsley Marital Questionnaire (MMQ) and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for measuring relevant parameters. Results - The mean severity of migraine pain according to VAS scale was 6.93 ± 1.41 and the mean number of migraine attacks was 4.50 ± 4.24. The mean BDI score of the patients was 12.66 ± 8.98, the mean MMQ-M score was 19.80 ± 12.52, the mean MMQ-S score was 13.20 ± 9.53, the mean STAI-state score was 39.93 ± 10.87 and the mean STAI-trait score was 45.73 ± 8.96. No significant correlation was found between age, number of migraine attacks, migraine duration, migraine headache intensity, and BDI, STAI and MMQ scores (p>0.05). But there was a positive correlation between MMQ-S and scores obtained from the BDI and STAI-state scales (p<0.05). Conclusion - In this study more than half of the migraine patients had mild, moderate or severe depression. A positive correlation was found between sexual dissatisfaction and scale scores of depression and anxiety.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Family planning in multiple sclerosis: conception, pregnancy, breastfeeding]

RÓZSA Csilla

[Family planning is an exceptionally important question in multiple sclerosis, as women of childbearing age are the ones most often affected. Although it is proven that pregnancy does not worsen the long-term prognosis of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, many patients are still doubtful about having children. This question is further complicated by the fact that patients – and often even doctors – are not sufficiently informed about how the ever-increasing number of available disease-modifying treatments affect pregnancies. Breastfeeding is an even less clear topic. Patients usually look to their neurologists first for answers concerning these matters. It falls to the neurologist to rationally evaluate the risks and benefits of contraception, pregnancy, assisted reproduction, childbirth, breastfeeding and disease modifying treatments, to inform patients about these, and then together come to a decision about the best possible therapeutic approach, taking the patients’ individual family plans into consideration. Here we present a review of relevant literature adhering to international guidelines on the topics of conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding, with a special focus on the applicability of approved disease modifying treatments during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The goal of this article is to provide clinicians involved in the care of MS patients with up-to-date information that they can utilize in their day-to-day clinical practice. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

Restless leg syndrome frequency in health workers

ÖCAL Ruhsen, ATGÜDEN Gizem, AYCAN Cagri, BALABAN Zeynep, SENAR Seran, YAVUZ Sena

Introduction - Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a disease, primarily composed of sensational symptoms, caused by the urge to move lower extremities especially at night, and characterized by undesired feelings of the legs. Decreasing of the dopaminergic effect at night is thought to be responsible from these symptoms. RLS patients suffer from low quality of sleep affecting their daily life activities even causing socio-economic loss. Although RLS is a common and treatable disease, it can not be diagnosed easily due to the variability of symptoms. Aim - The purpose of this study is to determine the frequency of RLS among health workers and to define the disease causing factors. Method - A questionnaire was applied to 174 randomly selected health workers at Baskent University Medical Faculty (KA17/285). The demographic information, history of illnesses or usage of drugs, socioeconomic status, working hours and daytime sleepiness were questioned. Included in the questionnaire were diagnostic criteria for RLS, frequency assessment scale, and survey of sleep quality. We used “the diagnostic criteria of international RLS working group” for the diagnosis, and “Pittsburgh sleep quality index survey” to determine the quality of sleep. Reliability and validity studies were performed on both tests. Results - A significant relationship between socio-economic status and RLS was found (p<0.05) as an increase of RLS frequency in parallel with decreased socio-economic status. RLS was found to be common among health workers. We suggest that health workers should be checked regularly, and they should be informed about the disease in order to raise an awareness and hence increase their quality of life.

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[The present and future of hypertension-care in Hungary]

SZEGEDI János, KÉKES Ede, KISS István

[Hypertension is a population disorder of a kind that basically affects the health status, morbidity, mortality, quality of life of the population. The decrease complications its prevalence is favorably influenced by the correct treatment -defined by guidelines-, effective care, reaching and its sustained maintenance of target blood pressure, successful patient-physician co-operation. The importance of cooperation between the patient- physician- assistants- pharmacist is emphasized by numerous international organizations. The general quality of the health care system, the extensive use of the unified information system and the modern tools of telemedicine are increasingly important. The degree of drug adherence is also extremely important. According to our own experience, 40% of patients did not take the prescribed drugs in the second to third months of therapy. The Home Blood Pressure Measurement, Blood Pressure Monitoring as well as the patient education and drug revenue check mediated by smartphones, increase adherence. Real progress would mean that, like the care of heart failure, hypertension outpatients clinic (within the university centers, and the hospital departments of the county) would provide the therapeutic controll and care of the hypertensive patients.]