Hungarian Immunology

[Comparison of disease-modifying drugs in rheumatoid arthritis]

SZŰCS Gabriella, SZEKANECZ Zoltán

JANUARY 22, 2008

Hungarian Immunology - 2008;7(01-02)

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Hungarian Immunology

[The role of endothelium, cell migration, chemokines and angiogenesis in inflammatory rheumatic diseases]

BESENYEI Tímea, PÁKOZDI Angéla, VÉGVÁRI Anikó, SZABÓ Zoltán, SZEKANECZ Zoltán

[Endothelial cells, leukocyte-endothelial interactions and angiogenesis are highly involved in the pathogenesis of inflammation and thus in that of inflammatory rheumatic diseases. As this research area is very progressive, one needs to review novel molecular mechanisms and new therapeutic approaches in this respect. Authors review the most important functions of endothelial cells, the process of leukocyte extravasation, tissue infiltration and their cellular and molecular basis. Endothelial cells themselves produce a number of inflammatory mediators including interleukin-1 (IL-1), IL-6, IL-8, chemokines and others. Among cell adhesion molecules, β1 and β3 integrins, as well as E-, L- and P-selectins and their respective ligands have been implicated in leukocyte-endothelial adhesion. In recent years, numerous inflammatory mediators, cytokines, chemokines and proteases have been implicated in angiogenesis and angiostasis. Hypoxia, the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-angiopoietin system and mechanisms driven by β3 integrins are of major importance during angiogenesis. Significant amount of data have become available of the regulation of cell adhesion, migration and neovascularisation. Adhesion, chemokine and angiogenesis research has important clinical, practical aspects for antirheumatic and anti-cancer therapy. VEGF antagonists, anti-integrin antibodies, chemokine and chemokine receptor inhibitors, as well as thalidomide are currently in the first line of development.]

Hungarian Immunology

[Kinetic measurement on flow cytometer simultaneous monitoring of intracellular progresses]

MÉSZÁROS Gergő, RÓNAI Katalin Zsuzsanna, TOLDI Gergely, KAPOSI Ambrus, VÁSÁRHELYI Barna, TRESZL András

[INTRODUCTION - Flow cytometry provides an opportunity for real-time monitoring of intracellular processes in several cell populations simultaneously. Cells stained with specific fluorescent dyes are sequentially measured during kinetic FACS measurements. Fluorescent light signals obtained in cells are recorded and analyzed to describe the alteration of the investigated parameter(s) over time. The use of kinetic FACS assays is not spread as there was no mathematic algorithm to characterize objectively the distribution of data and kinetic changes. MATERIALS, METHODS, RESULTS - We developed a new approach which fits functions to measured data sets, describes the statistical distribution and forms a basis for statistical comparison between individual kinetic measurements. We created two FACS assays on BD FACS Aria instrument. The first one monitors calcium flux, generation of reactive oxygen species and mitochondrial membrane potential, while the second one monitors mitochondrial calcium flux, nitric oxide generation and plasma membrane potential in CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes simultaneously before and after the administration of a lymphocyte activator. CONCLUSIONS - This technique may be used to investigate purposes (i.e. to test the impact of any agent (such as immunmodulatory drugs) on cellular processes in lymphocytes) and to diagnostic purposes (i.e. to test the alteration of lymphocyte activation characteristics in disease).]

Hungarian Immunology

[MCP-1 (monocyte chemoattractant protein-1) G/A and T-bet (T-helper promoter factor) C/G polymorphisms in primary Sjögren’s syndrome and systemic lupus erythematosus]

KOVÁCS Attila, KONCZ Ágnes, ENDREFFY Emőke, ARANKA László, PETRI Ildikó, ELLER József, SZALAI Csaba

[INTRODUCTION - Monocyte chemoattractant protein- 1 (MCP-1) is a β-chemokine involved in the attraction and accumulation of mononuclear granulocytes towards the site of inflammation. One of the transcriptional factors of T-cells is called T-bet. PATIENTS AND METHODS - The authors investigated the MCP-1-2518 G/A and T-bet 310 C/G (His33Gln) polymorphisms evaluating the distribution of the specific genotypes in 45 patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS), 51 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and in 320 healthy blood donors as the control group. MCP-1-2518 G/A and T-bet 310 C/G polymorphisms were detected with molecular genetic methods from the purified genomic DNA. RESULTS - The frequency of the MCP-1-2518 AG heterozygous genotype decreased tendentiously only in SLE patients, while the frequency of the MCP-1 AA homozygous genotype increased comparing to the control group (13.7% vs. 5.9%; Pearson’s χ2 test=6.125, ns.). Analyzing the genotype frequency for the MCP-1 wild (GG) and AA homozygous genotypes in pSS group, the MCP-1 AA homozygous genotype proved to be more frequent comparing to the control group (82.8%:17.2% vs. 90.7%:9.3%; Pearson’s χ2 test 1.755, ns). These relations showed only tendentious association in the SLE group (81.6%:18.7% vs. 90.7%:9.3%; Pearson’s χ2 2.811, p=0.094, ns.) There was not any significant correlation between the investigated MCP-1- 2518 G/A and the T-bet 310 C/G polymorphisms and the TNF-α -308 G/A and -238 allele polymorphisms. The frequency of T-bet was equal in relation with heterozygous (CG) to wild CC genotype in the investigated two autoimmune disorders. The GG homozygous genotype for T-bet could not be found in SLE and pSS groups, likely to be a protective factor. CONCLUSIONS - The above mentioned polymorphisms didn’t show any significant correlation with TNF-α -308 and -238 allele polymorphisms. The further research of the MCP-1 G/A and T-bet C/G polymorphisms is important, because of their possible prognostic importance for SLE and pSS.]

Hungarian Immunology

[Pseudolymphoma orbitae]

VÁNCSA Andrea, GERGELY Lajos, NEMES Zoltán, BÍRÓ Edit, ILLÉS Árpád, BAKÓ Gyula

[INTRODUCTION - Pseudolymphoma orbitae is a rare and difficult entity. The cooperation of the pathologist and clinician is needed to properly manage the patient. CASE REPORT - The authors report the case history of a 38 years old male patient. His disease started at the age of 30. He was previously treated with allergic rhinitis. No definitive diagnosis was made for eight years. Several surgical biopsies were made from nasal mucosa, but no specific histologyical diagnosis was applicable. At the age of 30 he developed an unilateral exophthalmus on the left side. Thyroid associated ophthalmopathy was ruled out several times with laboratory analysis. High dose methylprednisone therapy was repeatedly given with limited results. At the age of 34 orbital CT and MRI scan confirmed the pseudotumour orbitae already compressing the optical nerve. Laboratory analysis again ruled out thyroid associated ophthalmopathy. Churg-Strauss syndrome, Wegener’s granulomatosis or Sjögren’s syndrome could be ruled out. A bone marrow trephine biopsy excluded systemic hematological disease as well. A biopsy was performed from the retrobulbar mass again, which confirmed the lymphoid hyperplasia with B-cell dominance. High dose methylprednisone and local irradiation resulted only moderate decrease of the mass, so systemic chemotherapy was started using CVP (cyclophosphamide, vincristin, prednisone) then CHOP (CVP + anthrycycline) polychemotherapy for eight cycles and subcutaneous interferon-α for 20 months. CONCLUSIONS - This resulted a complete regression of the disease, and the patient is well for 48 months now.]

Hungarian Immunology

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SZEKANECZ Zoltán

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Fluoxetine use is associated with improved survival of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia: A retrospective case-control study

NÉMETH Klára Zsófia, SZÛCS Anna , VITRAI József , JUHÁSZ Dóra , NÉMETH Pál János , HOLLÓ András

We aimed to investigate the association between fluoxetine use and the survival of hospitalised coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pneumonia patients. This retrospective case-control study used data extracted from the medical records of adult patients hospitalised with moderate or severe COVID-19 pneumonia at the Uzsoki Teaching Hospital of the Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary between 17 March and 22 April 2021. As a part of standard medical treatment, patients received anti-COVID-19 therapies as favipiravir, remdesivir, baricitinib or a combination of these drugs; and 110 of them received 20 mg fluoxetine capsules once daily as an adjuvant medication. Multivariable logistic regression was used to evaluate the association between fluoxetine use and mortality. For excluding a fluoxetine-selection bias potentially influencing our results, we compared baseline prognostic markers in the two groups treated versus not treated with fluoxetine. Out of the 269 participants, 205 (76.2%) survived and 64 (23.8%) died between days 2 and 28 after hospitalisation. Greater age (OR [95% CI] 1.08 [1.05–1.11], p<0.001), radiographic severity based on chest X-ray (OR [95% CI] 2.03 [1.27–3.25], p=0.003) and higher score of shortened National Early Warning Score (sNEWS) (OR [95% CI] 1.20 [1.01-1.43], p=0.04) were associated with higher mortality. Fluoxetine use was associated with an important (70%) decrease of mortality (OR [95% CI] 0.33 [0.16–0.68], p=0.002) compared to the non-fluoxetine group. Age, gender, LDH, CRP, and D-dimer levels, sNEWS, Chest X-ray score did not show statistical difference between the fluoxetine and non-fluoxetine groups supporting the reliability of our finding. Provisional to confirmation in randomised controlled studies, fluoxetine may be a potent treatment increasing the survival for COVID-19 pneumonia.

Clinical Neuroscience

Late simultaneous carcinomatous meningitis, temporal bone infiltrating macro-metastasis and disseminated multi-organ micro-metastases presenting with mono-symptomatic vertigo – a clinico-pathological case reporT

JARABIN András János, KLIVÉNYI Péter, TISZLAVICZ László, MOLNÁR Anna Fiona, GION Katalin, FÖLDESI Imre, KISS Geza Jozsef, ROVÓ László, BELLA Zsolt

Although vertigo is one of the most common complaints, intracranial malignant tumors rarely cause sudden asymmetry between the tone of the vestibular peripheries masquerading as a peripheral-like disorder. Here we report a case of simultaneous temporal bone infiltrating macro-metastasis and disseminated multi-organ micro-metastases presenting as acute unilateral vestibular syndrome, due to the reawakening of a primary gastric signet ring cell carcinoma. Purpose – Our objective was to identify those pathophysiological steps that may explain the complex process of tumor reawakening, dissemination. The possible causes of vestibular asymmetry were also traced. A 56-year-old male patient’s interdisciplinary medical data had been retrospectively analyzed. Original clinical and pathological results have been collected and thoroughly reevaluated, then new histological staining and immunohistochemistry methods have been added to the diagnostic pool. During the autopsy the cerebrum and cerebellum was edematous. The apex of the left petrous bone was infiltrated and destructed by a tumor mass of 2x2 cm in size. Histological reexamination of the original gastric resection specimen slides revealed focal submucosal tumorous infiltration with a vascular invasion. By immunohistochemistry mainly single infiltrating tumor cells were observed with Cytokeratin 7 and Vimentin positivity and partial loss of E-cadherin staining. The subsequent histological examination of necropsy tissue specimens confirmed the disseminated, multi-organ microscopic tumorous invasion. Discussion – It has been recently reported that the expression of Vimentin and the loss of E-cadherin is significantly associated with advanced stage, lymph node metastasis, vascular and neural invasion and undifferentiated type with p<0.05 significance. As our patient was middle aged and had no immune-deficiency, the promoting factor of the reawakening of the primary GC malignant disease after a 9-year-long period of dormancy remained undiscovered. The organ-specific tropism explained by the “seed and soil” theory was unexpected, due to rare occurrence of gastric cancer to metastasize in the meninges given that only a minority of these cells would be capable of crossing the blood brain barrier. Patients with past malignancies and new onset of neurological symptoms should alert the physician to central nervous system involvement, and the appropriate, targeted diagnostic and therapeutic work-up should be established immediately. Targeted staining with specific antibodies is recommended. Recent studies on cell lines indicate that metformin strongly inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition of gastric cancer cells. Therefore, further studies need to be performed on cases positive for epithelial-mesenchymal transition.

Clinical Neuroscience

Alexithymia is associated with cognitive impairment in patients with Parkinson’s disease

SENGUL Yildizhan, KOCAK Müge, CORAKCI Zeynep, SENGUL Serdar Hakan, USTUN Ismet

Cognitive dysfunction (CD) is a common non-motor symptom of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Alexithy­mia is a still poorly understood neuropsychiatric feature of PD. Cognitive impairment (especially visuospatial dysfunction and executive dysfunction) and alexithymia share com­mon pathology of neuroanatomical structures. We hypo­thesized that there must be a correlation between CD and alexithymia levels considering this relationship of neuroanatomy. Objective – The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between alexithymia and neurocognitive function in patients with PD. Thirty-five patients with PD were included in this study. The Toronto Alexithymia Scale–20 (TAS-20), Geriatric Depression Inventory (GDI) and a detailed neuropsychological evaluation were performed. Higher TAS-20 scores were negatively correlated with Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) similarities test score (r =-0.71, p value 0.02), clock drawing test (CDT) scores (r=-0.72, p=0.02) and verbal fluency (VF) (r=-0.77, p<0.01). Difficulty identifying feelings subscale score was negatively correlated with CDT scores (r=-0.74, p=0.02), VF scores (r=-0.66, p=0.04), visual memory immediate recall (r=-0.74, p=0.01). VF scores were also correlated with difficulty describing feelings (DDF) scores (r=-0.66, p=0.04). There was a reverse relationship bet­ween WAIS similarities and DDF scores (r=-0.70, p=0.02), and externally oriented-thinking (r=-0.77,p<0.01). Executive function Z score was correlated with the mean TAS-20 score (r=-62, p=0.03) and DDF subscale score (r=-0.70, p=0.01) Alexithymia was found to be associated with poorer performance on visuospatial and executive function test results. We also found that alexithymia was significantly correlated with depressive symptoms. Presence of alexithymia should therefore warn the clinicians for co-existing CD.

Clinical Neuroscience

Comparison of direct costs of percutaneous full-endoscopic interlaminar lumbar discectomy and microdiscectomy: Results from Turkey

ÜNSAL Ünlü Ülkün, ŞENTÜRK Salim

Microdiscectomy (MD) is a stan­dard technique for the surgical treatment of lumbar disc herniation (LDH). Uniportal percutaneous full-endoscopic in­terlaminar lumbar discectomy (PELD) is another surgical op­tion that has become popular owing to reports of shorter hos­pitalization and earlier functional recovery. There are very few articles analyzing the total costs of these two techniques. The purpose of this study was to compare total hospital costs among microdiscectomy (MD) and uniportal percutaneous full-endoscopic interlaminar lumbar discectomy (PELD). Forty patients aged between 22-70 years who underwent PELD or MD with different anesthesia techniques were divided into four groups: (i) PELD-local anesthesia (PELD-Local) (n=10), (ii) PELD-general anesthesia (PELD-General) (n=10), (iii) MD-spinal anesthesia (MD-Spinal) (n=10), (iv) MD-general anesthesia (MD-General) (n=10). Health care costs were defined as the sum of direct costs. Data were then analyzed based on anesthetic modality to produce a direct cost evaluation. Direct costs were compared statistically between MD and PELD groups. The sum of total costs was $1,249.50 in the PELD-Local group, $1,741.50 in the PELD-General group, $2,015.60 in the MD-Spinal group, and $2,348.70 in the MD-General group. The sum of total costs was higher in the MD-Spinal and MD-General groups than in the PELD-Local and PELD-General groups. The costs of surgical operation, surgical equipment, anesthesia (anesthetist’s costs), hospital stay, anesthetic drugs and materials, laboratory wor­kup, nur­sing care, and postoperative me­dication diffe­red significantly among the two main groups (PELD-MD) (p<0.01). This study demonstrated that PELD is less costly than MD.

Clinical Neuroscience

Atypical presentation of late-onset Sandhoff disease: a case report

SALAMON András , SZPISJAK László , ZÁDORI Dénes, LÉNÁRT István, MARÓTI Zoltán, KALMÁR Tibor , BRIERLEY M. H. Charlotte, DEEGAN B. Patrick , KLIVÉNYI Péter

Sandhoff disease is a rare type of hereditary (autosomal recessive) GM2-gangliosidosis, which is caused by mutation of the HEXB gene. Disruption of the β subunit of the hexosaminidase (Hex) enzyme affects the function of both the Hex-A and Hex-B isoforms. The severity and the age of onset of the disease (infantile or classic; juvenile; adult) depends on the residual activity of the enzyme. The late-onset form is characterized by diverse symptomatology, comprising motor neuron disease, ataxia, tremor, dystonia, psychiatric symptoms and neuropathy. A 36-year-old female patient has been presenting progressive, symmetrical lower limb weakness for 9 years. Detailed neurological examination revealed mild symmetrical weakness in the hip flexors without the involvement of other muscle groups. The patellar reflex was decreased on both sides. Laboratory tests showed no relevant alteration and routine electroencephalography and brain MRI were normal. Nerve conduction studies and electromyography revealed alterations corresponding to sensory neuropathy. Muscle biopsy demonstrated signs of mild neurogenic lesion. Her younger brother (32-year-old) was observed with similar symptoms. Detailed genetic study detected a known pathogenic missense mutation and a 15,088 base pair long known pathogenic deletion in the HEXB gene (NM_000521.4:c.1417G>A; NM_000521:c.-376-5836_669+1473del; double heterozygous state). Segregation analysis and hexosaminidase enzyme assay of the family further confirmed the diagnosis of late-onset Sandhoff disease. The purpose of this case report is to draw attention to the significance of late-onset Sandhoff disease amongst disorders presenting with proximal predominant symmetric lower limb muscle weakness in adulthood.