Centro Hospitalar do Porto Hospital Santo Antonio

Vila Real de Santo António, Portugal

Centro Hospitalar do Porto Hospital Santo Antonio

Vila Real de Santo António, Portugal
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Steri M.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Orru V.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Idda M.L.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Pitzalis M.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | And 80 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2017

BACKGROUND Genomewide association studies of autoimmune diseases have mapped hundreds of susceptibility regions in the genome. However, only for a few association signals has the causal gene been identified, and for even fewer have the causal variant and underlying mechanism been defined. Coincident associations of DNA variants affecting both the risk of autoimmune disease and quantitative immune variables provide an informative route to explore disease mechanisms and drug-targetable pathways. METHODS Using case.control samples from Sardinia, Italy, we performed a genomewide association study in multiple sclerosis followed by TNFSF13B locus.specific association testing in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Extensive phenotyping of quantitative immune variables, sequence-based fine mapping, cross-population and cross-phenotype analyses, and gene-expression studies were used to identify the causal variant and elucidate its mechanism of action. Signatures of positive selection were also investigated. RESULTS A variant in TNFSF13B, encoding the cytokine and drug target B-cell activating factor (BAFF), was associated with multiple sclerosis as well as SLE. The disease-risk allele was also associated with up-regulated humoral immunity through increased levels of soluble BAFF, B lymphocytes, and immunoglobulins. The causal variant was identified: An insertion.deletion variant, GCTGTA (in which A is the risk allele), yielded a shorter transcript that escaped microRNA inhibition and increased production of soluble BAFF, which in turn up-regulated humoral immunity. Population genetic signatures indicated that this autoimmunity variant has been evolutionarily advantageous, most likely by augmenting resistance to malaria. CONCLUSIONS A TNFSF13B variant was associated with multiple sclerosis and SLE, and its effects were clarified at the population, cellular, and molecular levels. (Funded by the Italian Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis and others.) © 2017 Massachusetts Medical Society.


PubMed | Abel Salazar Biomedical Sciences Institute and Centro Hospitalar do Porto Hospital Santo Antonio
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Acta reumatologica portuguesa | Year: 2014

The high prevalence of depression in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) may result from the psychosocial impact of this chronic disease as well as from a lesion of the central nervous system (CNS). Recently, the biological basis of depression in SLE has been confirmed, under the influence of several factors, which will be reviewed here. Published evidence points to the participation of biochemical and neurophysiological changes, induced by cytokines, in the development of neuropsychiatric symptoms. Through activation of the enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), the alteration of neurotransmitters bioavailability, the modification of neuroplasticity and neurogenesis and the overstimulation of certain neural circuits, cytokines are capable of causing mood swings and depression. On the other hand, associated with the immune deregulation, the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis dysfunction correlates with neurophysiological changes involved in depression. Moreover, cerebro-reactive autoantibodies present in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), such as anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate(NMDA) and anti-ribosomal P, can cause significant damage to neurons in brain areas which are relevant to humor and behavior, potentially leading to depressive symptoms. In neuroanatomical terms, brain lesions in areas of the limbic system present in lupus patients, despite their unclear etiology, suggest impairment of cerebral achievement in emotional and behavioral functions. In summary, several biological changes are able to cause depression in SLE and their identification is essential to the management of the disease.


Freitas D.,Centro Hospitalar do Porto Hospital Santo Antonio
BMJ case reports | Year: 2013

The authors report the case of a 56-year-old male patient with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) diagnosed during adolescence and with an insidious clinical evolution, characterised by an exuberant cutaneous involvement, referred to the orthopaedics outpatient clinic presenting with carpal tunnel syndrome secondary to a plexiform neurofibroma of the median nerve. A comprehensive clinical approach is discussed, considering the natural history of the disease and its potential complications, as well as the lack of consensus regarding standard therapeutic options for the compressive peripheral neuropathies in the NF1 disease.

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