Year of publication
- Safety and clinical outcomes of rituximab therapy in patients with different autoimmune diseases: experience from a national registry (GRAID) (2011)
- Introduction Evidence from a number of open-label, uncontrolled studies has suggested that rituximab may benefit patients with autoimmune diseases who are refractory to standard of care. The objective of this study was to evaluate the safety and clinical outcomes of rituximab in several standard of care-refractory autoimmune diseases (within rheumatology, nephrology, dermatology and neurology) other than rheumatoid arthritis or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in a real-life clinical setting. Methods Patients who received rituximab having shown an inadequate response to standard of care had their safety and clinical outcomes data retrospectively analysed as part of the German Registry of Autoimmune Diseases. The main outcome measures were safety and clinical response, as judged at the discretion of the investigators. Results A total of 370 patients (299 patient-years) with various autoimmune diseases (23.0% with systemic lupus erythematosus, 15.7% antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitides, 15.1% multiple sclerosis and 10.0% pemphigus) from 42 centres received a mean dose of 2440 mg of rituximab over a median (range) of 194 (180 to 1407) days. The overall rate of serious infections was 5.3 per 100 patient-years during rituximab therapy. Opportunistic infections were infrequent across the whole study population, and mostly occurred in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. There were 11 deaths (3.0% of patients) after rituximab treatment (mean 11.6 months after first infusion, range 0.8 to 31.3 months), with most of the deaths caused by infections. Overall (n = 293), 13.3% of patients showed no response, 45.1% showed a partial response and 41.6% showed a complete response. Responses were also reflected by reduced use of glucocorticoids and various immunosuppressives during rituximab therapy and follow-up compared with before rituximab. Rituximab generally had a positive effect on patient well-being (physician's visual analogue scale; mean improvement from baseline of 12.1 mm). Conclusions Data from this registry indicate that rituximab is a commonly employed, well-tolerated therapy with potential beneficial effects in standard of care-refractory autoimmune diseases, and support the results from other open-label, uncontrolled studies. Additional file 1: Supplemental tables. Table A1. Duration of follow-up from first rituximab infusion to last control visit by diagnosis. Table A2. Number of rituximab infusions by diagnosis.
- The Janthinobacterium sp. HH01 genome encodes a homologue of the V. cholerae CqsA and L. pneumophila LqsA autoinducer synthases (2013)
- Janthinobacteria commonly form biofilms on eukaryotic hosts and are known to synthesize antibacterial and antifungal compounds. Janthinobacterium sp. HH01 was recently isolated from an aquatic environment and its genome sequence was established. The genome consists of a single chromosome and reveals a size of 7.10 Mb, being the largest janthinobacterial genome so far known. Approximately 80% of the 5,980 coding sequences (CDSs) present in the HH01 genome could be assigned putative functions. The genome encodes a wealth of secretory functions and several large clusters for polyketide biosynthesis. HH01 also encodes a remarkable number of proteins involved in resistance to drugs or heavy metals. Interestingly, the genome of HH01 apparently lacks the N-acylhomoserine lactone (AHL)-dependent signaling system and the AI-2-dependent quorum sensing regulatory circuit. Instead it encodes a homologue of the Legionella- and Vibrio-like autoinducer (lqsA/cqsA) synthase gene which we designated jqsA. The jqsA gene is linked to a cognate sensor kinase (jqsS) which is flanked by the response regulator jqsR. Here we show that a jqsA deletion has strong impact on the violacein biosynthesis in Janthinobacterium sp. HH01 and that a jqsA deletion mutant can be functionally complemented with the V. cholerae cqsA and the L. pneumophila lqsA genes.
- Klinische und radiologische Ergebnisse nach modifizierter Drittelrohr-Hakenplattenosteosynthese bei Olecranonfrakturen (2009)
- Meeting Abstract : Deutscher Kongress für Orthopädie und Unfallchirurgie ; 73. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Unfallchirurgie ; 95. Tagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Orthopädie und Orthopädische Chirurgie ; 50. Tagung des Berufsverbandes der Fachärzte für Orthopädie und Unfallchirurgie ; 21. - 24.10.2009, Berlin Fragestellung: Ziel war die Evaluierung der funktionellen und radiologischen Ergebnisse nach osteosynthestischer Versorgung von Olecranonfrakturen mit einer zur Hakenplatte modifizierten Drittelrohrplatte. Methodik: In einem Zeitraum von 12 Monaten wurden 29 Patienten mit Olecranonfrakturen prospektiv erfasst und eine Osteosynthese mit einer zur Hakenplatte modifizierten Kleinfragment-Drittelrohrplatte durchgeführt. Eine additive Verschraubung von zusätzlichen Fragmenten erfolgte bei 6 Patienten (20%). Das mittlere Patientenalter zum Unfallzeitpunkt betrug 50 Jahre (Min 29/ Max 83). Unter Verwendung der Frakturklassifikation nach Schatzker stellte sich in 8 Fällen (28%) eine Querfraktur vom Typ A, in 6 Fällen (20%) eine Querfraktur mit Impaktion vom Typ B und in 15 Fällen (52%) eine Mehrfragmentfraktur vom Typ D dar. Bei 4 Patienten (14%) lag eine offene Fraktursituation vor. Nach im Mittel 7,2 Monaten (Min 6/ Max 8) wurde das funktionelle Outcome anhand des Mayo Elbow Performence Scores (MEPS), der visuellen Analogskala (VAS) und des Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand Scores (DASH) bewertet sowie die radiologischen Befunde erhoben. Ergebnisse und Schlussfolgerungen: Das Ziel einer primär übungsstabilen Osteosynthese konnte bei allen Patienten erreicht werden. Unter Verwendung des MEPS wurden annähernd ausschließlich sehr gute (12 Fälle/41%) und gute (16 Fälle/55%) Ergebnisse erzielt. Lediglich bei einem Patienten ergab sich ein nur befriedigendes Ergebnis. Der mittlere Punktwert für den MEPS betrug 91,4 (Min 65/Max 100). In der VAS konnte ein Mittelwert von 8,2 Punkten (Min 7/Max 10) erzielt werden (0=keine Zufriedenheit, 10=volle Zufriedenheit). Der mittlere DASH-Wert betrug 16,2 Punkte (Min 0/Max 39). Der mittlere Bewegungsumfang betrug für Extension/Flexion bei einem durchschnittlichen Streckdefizit von 8° (Min 0°/Max 25°) und einer Beugung von 135° (Min 105°/Max 155°) 125° (Min 90°/Max 155°). Die Unterarmumwendbewegungen waren mit 175° (Min 165°/Max 180°) kaum eingeschränkt. Bei keinem Patienten gab es postoperative Komplikationen. Eine zur Hakenplatte modifizierte Drittelrohrplatte stellt im Gegensatz zu präformierten, winkelstabilen Implantaten eine kostengünstige Alternative zur Osteosynthese bei Olecranonfrakturen dar. Auch bei komplexen mehrfragmentären Frakturtypen und osteoporotischer Knochenqualität konnte so im nachuntersuchten Kollektiv eine sichere Frakturretention erzielt werden. Hinsichtlich des funktionellen Ergebnisses profitieren die Patienten von einer dadurch unmittelbar postoperativ möglichen, physiotherapeutischen Nachbehandlung. Das für die Hakenplatte benötigte Osteosynthesematerial (Kleinfragment-Drittelrohrplatte) ist nahezu überall verfügbar und lässt sich in kurzer Zeit der individuellen Anatomie und Frakturmorphologie anpassen. Eine Drahtmigration, wie bei der weit verbreiteten Zuggurtungsosteosynthese häufig beobachtet, ist ausgeschlossen.
- T-cell-specific peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma depletion inhibits T-cell apoptosis and improves survival of septic mice via an IL-2-dependent mechanism (2009)
- Poster presentation: from Sepsis 2009 Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 11-14 November 2009 Introduction Immune paralysis with massive T-cell apoptosis is a central pathogenic event during sepsis and correlates with septic patient mortality. Previous observations implied a crucial role of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) during T-cell apoptosis. Methods To elucidate mechanisms of PPARgamma-induced T-cell depletion, we used an endotoxin model as well as the caecal ligation and puncture sepsis model to imitate septic conditions in wild-type versus conditional PPARgamma knockout (KO) mice. Results PPARgamma KO mice showed a marked survival advantage compared with control mice. Their T cells were substantially protected against sepsis-induced death and showed a significantly higher expression of the pro-survival factor IL-2. Since PPARgamma is described to repress nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) transactivation and concomitant IL-2 expression, we propose inhibition of NFAT as the underlying mechanism allowing T-cell apoptosis. Corroborating our hypothesis, we observed up-regulation of the pro-apoptotic protein BIM and downregulation of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 in control mice, which are downstream effector proteins of IL-2 receptor signaling. Application of a neutralizing anti-IL-2 antibody reversed the pro-survival effect of PPARgamma-deficient T cells and confirmed IL-2-dependent apoptosis during sepsis. Conclusion Apparently antagonizing PPARgamma in T cells might improve their survival during sepsis, which concomitantly enhances defence mechanisms and possibly provokes an increased survival of septic patients.
- The activation mechanism of Irga6, an interferon-inducible GTPase contributing to mouse resistance against Toxoplasma gondii (2011)
- Background: The interferon-inducible immunity-related GTPases (IRG proteins/p47 GTPases) are a distinctive family of GTPases that function as powerful cell-autonomous resistance factors. The IRG protein, Irga6 (IIGP1), participates in the disruption of the vacuolar membrane surrounding the intracellular parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, through which it communicates with its cellular hosts. Some aspects of the protein's behaviour have suggested a dynamin-like molecular mode of action, in that the energy released by GTP hydrolysis is transduced into mechanical work that results in deformation and ultimately rupture of the vacuolar membrane. Results: Irga6 forms GTP-dependent oligomers in vitro and thereby activates hydrolysis of the GTP substrate. In this study we define the catalytic G-domain interface by mutagenesis and present a structural model, of how GTP hydrolysis is activated in Irga6 complexes, based on the substrate-twinning reaction mechanism of the signal recognition particle (SRP) and its receptor (SRalpha). In conformity with this model, we show that the bound nucleotide is part of the catalytic interface and that the 3'hydroxyl of the GTP ribose bound to each subunit is essential for trans-activation of hydrolysis of the GTP bound to the other subunit. We show that both positive and negative regulatory interactions between IRG proteins occur via the catalytic interface. Furthermore, mutations that disrupt the catalytic interface also prevent Irga6 from accumulating on the parasitophorous vacuole membrane of T. gondii, showing that GTP-dependent Irga6 activation is an essential component of the resistance mechanism. Conclusions: The catalytic interface of Irga6 defined in the present experiments can probably be used as a paradigm for the nucleotide-dependent interactions of all members of the large family of IRG GTPases, both activating and regulatory. Understanding the activation mechanism of Irga6 will help to explain the mechanism by which IRG proteins exercise their resistance function. We find no support from sequence or G-domain structure for the idea that IRG proteins and the SRP GTPases have a common phylogenetic origin. It therefore seems probable, if surprising, that the substrate-assisted catalytic mechanism has been independently evolved in the two protein families.
- Zug in den Süden : wohin fliegen Große Brachvögel vom badischen Oberrhein nach der Brutzeit? (2009)
- Die Mauser- und Überwinterungsgebiete der süddeutschen Brutvögel des Großen Brachvogels liegen an der Atlantikküste Frankreichs und der Iberischen Halbinsel, individuelle Unterschiede sowie Populationsunterschiede sind jedoch nicht bekannt. Daher wurde in einem Pilotversuch am 20. Mai 2008 ein brütendes Weibchen in einem Brutgebiet am badischen Oberrhein mit einem Satellitensender versehen. Das Weibchen zog am 8. Juni 2008 vermutlich in einem Direktflug von 1020 km in west-süd-westlicher Richtung an die kantabrische Atlantikküste. Signale wurden bis zum 9. Oktober 2008 empfangen.
- Quantification of circulating endothelial progenitor cells using the modified ISHAGE protocol (2010)
- Aims: Circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPC), involved in endothelial regeneration, neovascularisation, and determination of prognosis in cardiovascular disease can be characterised with functional assays or using immunofluorescence and flow cytometry. Combinations of markers, including CD34+KDR+ or CD133+KDR+, are used. This approach, however may not consider all characteristics of EPC. The lack of a standardised protocol with regards to reagents and gating strategies may account for the widespread inter-laboratory variations in quantification of EPC. We, therefore developed a novel protocol adapted from the standardised so-called ISHAGE protocol for enumeration of haematopoietic stem cells to enable comparison of clinical and laboratory data. Methods and Results: In 25 control subjects, 65 patients with coronary artery disease (CAD; 40 stable CAD, 25 acute coronary syndrome/acute myocardial infarction (ACS)), EPC were quantified using the following approach: Whole blood was incubated with CD45, KDR, and CD34. The ISHAGE sequential strategy was used, and finally, CD45dimCD34+ cells were quantified for KDR. A minimum of 100 CD34+ events were collected. For comparison, CD45+CD34+ and CD45-CD34+ were analysed simultaneously. The number of CD45dimCD34+KDR+ cells only were significantly higher in healthy controls compared to patients with CAD or ACS (p = 0.005 each, p<0.001 for trend). An inverse correlation of CD45dimCD34+KDR+ with disease activity (r = -0.475, p<0.001) was confirmed. Only CD45dimCD34+KDR+ correlated inversely with the number of diseased coronaries (r = -0.344; p<0.005). In a second study, a 4-week de-novo treatment of atorvastatin in stable CAD evoked an increase only of CD45dimCD34+KDR+ EPC (p<0.05). CD45+CD34+KDR+ and CD45-CD34+KDR+ were indifferent between the three groups. Conclusion: Our newly established protocol adopted from the standardised ISHAGE protocol achieved higher accuracy in EPC enumeration confirming previous findings with respect to the correlation of EPC with disease activity and the increase of EPC during statin therapy. The data of this study show the CD45dim fraction to harbour EPC.
- Circulating progenitor cell count for cardiovascular risk stratification: a pooled analysis (2010)
- Background: Circulating progenitor cells (CPC) contribute to the homeostasis of the vessel wall, and a reduced CPC count predicts cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. We tested the hypothesis that CPC count improves cardiovascular risk stratification and that this is modulated by low-grade inflammation. Methodology/Principal Findings: We pooled data from 4 longitudinal studies, including a total of 1,057 patients having CPC determined and major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) collected. We recorded cardiovascular risk factors and high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP) level. Risk estimates were derived from Cox proportional hazard analyses. CPC count and/or hsCRP level were added to a reference model including age, sex, cardiovascular risk factors, prevalent CVD, chronic renal failure (CRF) and medications. The sample was composed of high-risk individuals, as 76.3% had prevalent CVD and 31.6% had CRF. There were 331 (31.3%) incident MACE during an average 1.7±1.1 year follow-up time. CPC count was independently associated with incident MACE even after correction for hsCRP. According to C-statistics, models including CPC yielded a non-significant improvement in accuracy of MACE prediction. However, the integrated discrimination improvement index (IDI) showed better performance of models including CPC compared to the reference model and models including hsCRP in identifying MACE. CPC count also yielded significant net reclassification improvements (NRI) for CV death, non-fatal AMI and other CV events. The effect of CPC was independent of hsCRP, but there was a significant more-than-additive interaction between low CPC count and raised hsCRP level in predicting incident MACE. Conclusions/Significance: In high risk individuals, a reduced CPC count helps identifying more patients at higher risk of MACE over the short term, especially in combination with a raised hsCRP level.
- A prospective randomised, open-labeled, trial comparing sirolimus-containing versus mTOR-inhibitor-free immunosuppression in patients undergoing liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma (2010)
- Background: The potential anti-cancer effects of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors are being intensively studied. To date, however, few randomised clinical trials (RCT) have been performed to demonstrate anti-neoplastic effects in the pure oncology setting, and at present, no oncology endpoint-directed RCT has been reported in the high-malignancy risk population of immunosuppressed transplant recipients. Interestingly, since mTOR inhibitors have both immunosuppressive and anti-cancer effects, they have the potential to simultaneously protect against immunologic graft loss and tumour development. Therefore, we designed a prospective RCT to determine if the mTOR inhibitor sirolimus can improve hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)-free patient survival in liver transplant (LT) recipients with a pre-transplant diagnosis of HCC. Methods: The study is an open-labelled, randomised, RCT comparing sirolimus-containing versus mTOR-inhibitor-free immunosuppression in patients undergoing LT for HCC. Patients with a histologically confirmed HCC diagnosis are randomised into 2 groups within 4-6 weeks after LT; one arm is maintained on a centre-specific mTOR-inhibitor-free immunosuppressive protocol and the second arm is maintained on a centre-specific mTOR-inhibitor-free immunosuppressive protocol for the first 4-6 weeks, at which time sirolimus is initiated. A 3-year recruitment phase is planned with a 5-year follow-up, testing HCC-free survival as the primary endpoint. Our hypothesis is that sirolimus use in the second arm of the study will improve HCC-free survival. The study is a non-commercial investigator-initiated trial (IIT) sponsored by the University Hospital Regensburg and is endorsed by the European Liver and Intestine Transplant Association; 13 countries within Europe, Canada and Australia are participating. Discussion: If our hypothesis is correct that mTOR inhibition can reduce HCC tumour growth while simultaneously providing immunosuppression to protect the liver allograft from rejection, patients should experience less post-transplant problems with HCC recurrence, and therefore could expect a longer and better quality of life. A positive outcome will likely change the standard of posttransplant immunosuppressive care for LT patients with HCC. (trial registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov: NCT00355862) (EudraCT Number: 2005-005362-36)
- Ozone loss derived from balloon-borne tracer measurements in the 1999/2000 Arctic winter (2005)
- Balloon-borne measurements of CFC11 (from the DIRAC in situ gas chromatograph and the DESCARTES grab sampler), ClO and O3 were made during the 1999/2000 Arctic winter as part of the SOLVE-THESEO 2000 campaign, based in Kiruna (Sweden). Here we present the CFC11 data from nine flights and compare them first with data from other instruments which flew during the campaign and then with the vertical distributions calculated by the SLIMCAT 3D CTM. We calculate ozone loss inside the Arctic vortex between late January and early March using the relation between CFC11 and O3 measured on the flights. The peak ozone loss (~1200ppbv) occurs in the 440-470K region in early March in reasonable agreement with other published empirical estimates. There is also a good agreement between ozone losses derived from three balloon tracer data sets used here. The magnitude and vertical distribution of the loss derived from the measurements is in good agreement with the loss calculated from SLIMCAT over Kiruna for the same days.