Hungarian Immunology

[Paraneoplastic diseases of the locomotor system]

ANDRÁS Csilla, SZÁNTÓ János, SZEKANECZ Zoltán, CSIKI Zoltán, ILLÉS Árpád, SZEKANECZ Éva, DANKÓ Katalin

MARCH 20, 2006

Hungarian Immunology - 2006;5(02)

[Paraneoplasias in rheumatology can be present in different forms of arthropathies, myopathies. In addition, we often see atypical forms of systemic autoimmune diseases. Vasculitis is mainly associated with lymphoproliferative diseases. The direct invasion of bones and joints is not present in paraneoplasia, as this entity is a collection of symptoms generated by the tumour itself by producing biologic mediators, hormones, peptides, antibodies, cytotoxic lymphocytes, autocrine and paracrine mediators. Recognition of paraneoplasia is of outmost importance because it attires attention to the presence of tumour in the organism and thus enables us for early treatment of the malignancy. Monitoring of the severity of paraneoplastic symptoms serves as a marker for determination of efficacy of the targeted oncological therapy. On the other side, because these severe symptoms affect the patient's quality of life and can lead even to death their in time recognition and treatment is extremely important.]

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Hungarian Immunology

[The role of nerve growth (NGF) factor in the immune and inflammatory events and in autoimmune thyroid diseases]

MOLNÁR Ildikó

[Nerve growth factor (NGF) is a neurotroph cytokine, and beside its effect on the central and peripheral nervous systems NGF plays an important role in the inflammatory and autoimmune processes. There are two types of NGF receptors, the high-affinity (TrkA) and the low-affinity (p75), which activations via signal transduction could lead to the inhibition or induction of apoptosis. Suppression of apoptosis could be induced by cytokines, hormones, antioxidans and increased intracellular Ca2+-levels. In the pathogenesis of many autoimmune diseases (systemic lupus erythematosus, 1-type diabetes mellitus, multiple sclerosis) could detect elevated serum levels of NGF associated with the disease activity. Our study demonstrated increased levels of NGF in autoimmune thyroid diseases (Graves’ disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) in comparison with the controls. Decreased serum levels of NGF were found in Graves’ ophthalmopathy suggesting the role of apoptosis in the development of the eye symptoms. Orbital tissues are characterized with the high expression of TrkA receptors. NGF plays an important role in the pathomechanisms of neuro-immuno-hormonal diseases and its knowledge may be helpful in the diagnosis and therapy.]

Hungarian Immunology

[Molecular mechanisms and clinical importance of the RANK - RANK ligand - osteoprotegerin system]

SZENTPÉTERY Ágnes, BALOGH Ádám, VARJÚ Tibor, SZEKANECZ Zoltán

[The receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand (RANKL) is an essential cytokine for the formation and activation of osteoclasts. RANK, expressed on osteoclasts, interacts with RANKL, produced by osteoblasts and stromal cells. RANK-RANKL interaction is involved in osteoclastogenesis and bone resorption underlying metabolic bone diseases, arthritis, malignant bone disorders and some vascular diseases. Osteoprotegerin (OPG) physiologically counterbalance the action of RANKL. Several factors including estrogens, citokines and others regulate the RANKL-OPG ratio and thus bone resorption. RANKL blockade using recombinant OPG or anti-RANKL antibody may prevent bone loss in osteoporosis, chronic inflammatory and vascular disorders, as well as tumors. Active vaccination and gene therapy are further future perspectives in therapy. All these treatment modalities may be included in the future management of bone and vascular diseases.]

Hungarian Immunology

[Familial autoinflammatory syndromes]

ORBÁN Ilonka, BALOGH Zsolt

[A group of rare inherited disorders, the familial autoinflammatory syndromes are characterised by attacks of seemingly unprovoked inflammation without significantly elevated autoantibody and autoreactive T cell levels. The rare diseases are present from infancy to lifelong, with periodic fever attacks and usually are accompanied by recurrent systemic inflammatory symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhoea, rash, arthralgia, polyarthritis, polyserositis, ocular disorders are separated by symptom-free intervals. Referred to as hereditary periodic fever syndromes appear by spontaneous crisis attacks and reveal a severe acute-phase response during the fever. In their pathogenesis there are no evidence neither of infection nor the common characteristics for autoimmune diseases: the production of high-titer auto-antibodies and antigenspecific T cell activation. The basic disease mechanism consists of the recently identified mutations in genes enconding important proteins: pyrin, cryopyrin, tumour necrosis factor (TNF) receptor and other mediators of apoptosis, inflammation and morbid citokine processing. The differential diagnosis of the diseases is not easy, their treatment is not resolved, although in same cases the biological treatment may be efficacious.]

Hungarian Immunology

[Clinical and immunoserological characteristics of mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) associated with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH)]

VÉGH Judit, CSÍPŐ István, UDVARDY Miklós, KAPPELMAYER János, LAKOS Gabriella, ALEKSZA Magdolna, ZEHER Margit, SZEGEDI Gyula, BODOLAY Edit

[INTRODUCTION - The authors investigated the clinical characteristics, survival, accumulated damage index and immunoserological abnormalities in patients with mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) associated with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). PATIENTS AND METHODS - Anti-U1RNP autoantibodies, anti-endothelial cell antibodies, anti-cardiolipin antibodies and serum trombomodulin as well as von Willebrand factor antigen concentrations were measured in 25 patients with MCTD associated with PAH (11 right heart catheterization and 14 Doppler echocardiography) and in 154 MCTD patients without PAH. Changes in arterial pulmonary pressure were followed up by echocardiography. RESULTS - In the 25 patients PAH followed MCTD diagnosis in the average 11.6±4.5 years of the diseases. The probability of survival was lower in MCTD patients with PAH than in the 154 non-PAH MCTD patients (five years survival rate in MCTD with PAH: 73.39%, vs. 96.43% in non PAH MCTD; p<0.01; 10 years survival rate 86.74% vs. 93.25%; p<0.01). Anti-endothelial cell antibodies were more frequently present in MCTD patients sera with PAH than in non PAH MCTD (p<0.001). Serum trombomodulin and vWFAg levels were higher in MCTDPAH patients than in non PAH MCTD patients (trombomodulin:34.2±15.3 ng/ml vs. 11.8±6.5 ng/ml; p<0.001; vWFAg: 311.1±147% vs. 172.5± 141%. Significant correlations were noticed between the quantity of anti-endothelial cell antibodies and serum trombomodulin level (r=0.466) as well as the quantity of anti-endothelial cell antibodies and vWFAg serum level (r=0.550). CONCLUSION - Survival probability was worse for MCTD patients with PAH than for non PAH MCTD patients. Our results suggest that in MCTD the presence of anti-endothelial cell antibodies and endothelial cell activation may play a role in the development of pulmonary arterial hypertension and in the maintenance of obliterative vascular processes.]

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[Anti-NMDA-receptor encephalitis: description of the syndrome in line with presentation of the first Hungarian patient]

HOLLÓDY Katalin, CSÁBI Györgyi, LÁNG Anikó, RÓZSAI Barnabás, KOMÁROMY Hedvig, BORS László, ILLÉS Zsolt

[In the majority of cases, anti-NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor encephalitis is a severe, but treatable disorder, therefore early diagnosis and adequate therapy are very important. It should be suspected in children and young women, who develop acute psychiatric symptoms and seizures. During the course of the disease severe encephalopathy, agitation, hallucinations, orofacial dyskinesias, prolonged cognitive disturbance, autonomic symptoms can be observed and akinetic mutism develops. EEG shows diffuse slowing. Brain MRI is normal or unspecific. Elevated protein, pleiocytosis and oligoclonal bands can be present in the CSF. Detection of NMDA-receptor antibodies in sera or CSF confirms diagnosis. We present the case of a 15-year old girl, who fully recovered within two months after steroid treatment and repeated plasma exchange. Ovarian teratoma has not been detected.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Neuroscience highlights: Main cell types underlying memory and spatial navigation

KRABOTH Zoltán, KÁLMÁN Bernadette

Interest in the hippocampal formation and its role in navigation and memory arose in the second part of the 20th century, at least in part due to the curious case of Henry G. Molaison, who underwent brain surgery for intractable epilepsy. The temporal association observed between the removal of his entorhinal cortex along with a significant part of hippocampus and the developing severe memory deficit inspired scientists to focus on these regions. The subsequent discovery of the so-called place cells in the hippocampus launched the description of many other functional cell types and neuronal networks throughout the Papez-circuit that has a key role in memory processes and spatial information coding (speed, head direction, border, grid, object-vector etc). Each of these cell types has its own unique characteristics, and together they form the so-called “Brain GPS”. The aim of this short survey is to highlight for practicing neurologists the types of cells and neuronal networks that represent the anatomical substrates and physiological correlates of pathological entities affecting the limbic system, especially in the temporal lobe. For that purpose, we survey early discoveries along with the most relevant neuroscience observations from the recent literature. By this brief survey, we highlight main cell types in the hippocampal formation, and describe their roles in spatial navigation and memory processes. In recent decades, an array of new and functionally unique neuron types has been recognized in the hippocampal formation, but likely more remain to be discovered. For a better understanding of the heterogeneous presentations of neurological disorders affecting this anatomical region, insights into the constantly evolving neuroscience behind may be helpful. The public health consequences of diseases that affect memory and spatial navigation are high, and grow as the population ages, prompting scientist to focus on further exploring this brain region.

Clinical Neuroscience

Autonomic nervous system may be affected after carpal tunnel syndrome surgery: A possible mechanism for persistence of symptoms after surgery

ONDER Burcu, KELES Yavuz Betul

After carpal tunnel surgery, some patients report complaints such as edema, pain, and numbness. Purpose – The aim of this study was to evaluate autonomic nervous system function in patients with a history of carpal tunnel surgery using sympathetic skin response (SSR). Thirty three patients (55 ±10 years old) with a history of unilateral operation for carpal tunnel syndrome were included in the study. The SSR test was performed for both hands. Both upper extremities median and ulnar nerve conduction results were recorded. A reduced amplitude (p=0.006) and delayed latency (p<0.0001) were detected in the SSR test on the operated side compared to contralateral side. There was no correlation between SSR and carpal tunnel syndrome severity. Although complex regional pain syndrome does not develop in patients after carpal tunnel surgery, some of the complaints may be caused by effects on the autonomic nervous system.

Clinical Neuroscience

Life threatening rare lymphomas presenting as longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis: a diagnostic challenge

TOLVAJ Balázs, HAHN Katalin, NAGY Zsuzsanna, VADVÁRI Árpád, CSOMOR Judit, GELPI Ellen, ILLÉS Zsolt, GARZULY Ferenc

Background and aims – Description of two cases of rare intravascular large B-cell lymphoma and secondary T-cell lymphoma diagnosed postmortem, that manifested clinically as longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis (LETM). We discuss causes of diagnostic difficulties, deceptive radiological and histological investigations, and outline diagnostic procedures based on our and previously reported cases. Case reports – Our first case, a 48-year-old female was admitted to the neurological department due to paraparesis. MRI suggested LETM, but the treatments were ineffective. She died after four weeks because of pneumonia and untreatable polyserositis. Pathological examination revealed intravascular large B-cell lymphoma (IVL). Our second case, a 61-year-old man presented with headache and paraparesis. MRI showed small bitemporal lesions and lesions suggesting LETM. Diagnostic investigations were unsuccessful, including tests for possible lymphoma (CSF flow cytometry and muscle biopsy for suspected IVL). Chest CT showed focal inflammation in a small area of the lung, and adrenal adenoma. Brain biopsy sample from the affected temporal area suggested T-cell mediated lymphocytic (paraneoplastic or viral) meningoencephalitis and excluded diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. The symptoms worsened, and the patient died in the sixth week of disease. The pathological examination of the presumed adenoma in the adrenal gland, the pancreatic tail and the lung lesions revealed peripheral T-cell lymphoma, as did the brain and spinal cord lesions. Even at histological examination, the T-cell lymphoma had the misleading appearance of inflammatory condition as did the MRI. Conclusion – Lymphoma can manifest as LETM. In cases of etiologically unclear atypical LETM in patients older than 40 years, a random skin biopsy (with subcutaneous adipose tissue) from the thigh and from the abdomen is strongly recommended as soon as possible. This may detect IVL and provide the possibility of prompt chemotherapy. In case of suspicion of lymphoma, parallel examination of the CSF by flow cytometry is also recommended. If skin biopsy is negative but lymphoma suspicion remains high, biopsy from other sites (bone marrow, lymph nodes or adrenal gland lesion) or from a simultaneously existing cerebral lesion is suggested, to exclude or prove diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, IVL, or a rare T-cell lymphoma.