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2021 ◽  
Vol 23 (12) ◽  
Author(s):  
Angela Pirillo ◽  
Alberico L. Catapano ◽  
Giuseppe D. Norata

Abstract Purpose of Review Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is a monogenic disorder characterized by high plasma levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) since birth and a high risk of premature cardiovascular disease. The genetic defect is carried in only one allele in heterozygous FH (HeFH) or in both in the most severe homozygous FH (HoFH). Current guidelines recommend to reduce substantially LDL-C levels in these high-risk patients, with the need to use association therapy combining agents with different mechanisms of action. As most cases of FH are attributable to mutations in the gene encoding the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR), statins, even in combination with ezetimibe, are less effective in reducing LDL-C plasma levels in FH patients, who require a more intensive approach with additional lipid-lowering agents. Additional targets playing key roles in regulating LDL-C levels are represented by PCSK9 and ANGPTL3. Recent Findings Two monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) targeting PCSK9, evolocumab and alirocumab, significantly reduce LDL-C levels in HeFH patients. In patients with HoFH, the efficacy of mAbs to PCSK9 is strictly related to the presence of a residual LDLR activity; thus, patients carrying null mutations do not respond to the therapy with these mAbs, whereas some effects can be appreciated in HoFH bearing defective mutations. Conversely, evinacumab, the mAb targeting ANGPTL3, is highly effective in reducing LDL-C levels even in HoFH patients carrying null LDLR mutations, thanks to its LDLR-independent mechanism of action. Summary Monoclonal antibodies inhibiting PCSK9 have shown a robust effect in FH patients presenting a residual LDLR activity, while ANGPTL3 inhibitors appear to be promising even in patients carrying null LDLR mutations.


Nutrients ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 13 (11) ◽  
pp. 3764
Author(s):  
Silvia Espina ◽  
Yolanda Gonzalez-Irazabal ◽  
Alejandro Sanz-Paris ◽  
Marta Lopez-Yus ◽  
Maria Pilar Garcia-Sobreviela ◽  
...  

Low plasma levels of branched chain amino acids (BCAA) in liver cirrhosis are associated with hepatic encephalopathy (HE). We aimed to identify a metabolic signature of minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) in malnourished cirrhotic patients and evaluate its modification with oral nutritional supplements (ONS) enriched with ß-Hydroxy-ß-methylbutyrate (HMB), a derivative of the BCAA leucine. Post hoc analysis was conducted on a double-blind placebo-controlled trial of 43 individuals with cirrhosis and malnutrition, who were randomized to receive, for 12 weeks, oral supplementation twice a day with either 220 mL of Ensure® Plus Advance (HMB group, n = 22) or with 220 mL of Ensure® Plus High Protein (HP group, n = 21). MHE evaluation was by psychometric hepatic encephalopathy score (PHES). Compared to the HP group, an HMB-specific treatment effect led to a larger increase in Val, Leu, Phe, Trp and BCAA fasting plasma levels. Both treatments increased Fischer’s ratio and urea without an increase in Gln or ammonia fasting plasma levels. MHE was associated with a reduced total plasma amino acid concentration, a reduced BCAA and Fischer´s ratio, and an increased Gln/Glu ratio. HMB-enriched ONS increased Fischer´s ratio without varying Gln or ammonia plasma levels in liver cirrhosis and malnutrition, a protective amino acid profile that can help prevent MHE.


2021 ◽  
Vol 22 (21) ◽  
pp. 11488
Author(s):  
Michael Torzewski

Atherosclerosis research typically focuses on the evolution of intermediate or advanced atherosclerotic lesions rather than on prelesional stages of atherogenesis. Yet these early events may provide decisive leads on the triggers of the pathologic process, before lesions become clinically overt. Thereby, it is mandatory to consider extracellular lipoprotein deposition at this stage as the prerequisite of foam cell formation leading to a remarkable accumulation of LDL (Low Density Lipoproteins). As progression of atherosclerosis displays the characteristic features of a chronic inflammatory process on the one hand and native LDL lacks inflammatory properties on the other hand, the lipoprotein must undergo biochemical modification to become atherogenic. During the last 25 years, evidence was accumulated in support of a different concept on atherogenesis proposing that modification of native LDL occurs through the action of ubiquitous hydrolytic enzymes (enzymatically modified LDL or eLDL) rather than oxidation and contending that the physiological events leading to macrophage uptake and reverse transport of eLDL first occur without inflammation (initiation with reversion). Preventing or reversing initial atherosclerotic lesions would avoid the later stages and therefore prevent clinical manifestations. This concept is in accordance with the response to retention hypothesis directly supporting the strategy of lowering plasma levels of atherogenic lipoproteins as the most successful therapy for atherosclerosis and its sequelae. Apart from but unquestionable closely related to this concept, there are several other hypotheses on atherosclerotic lesion initiation favoring an initiating role of the immune system (‘vascular-associated lymphoid tissue’ (VALT)), defining foam cell formation as a variant of lysosomal storage disease, relating to the concept of the inflammasome with crystalline cholesterol and/or mitochondrial DAMPs (damage-associated molecular patterns) being mandatory in driving arterial inflammation and, last but not least, pointing to miRNAs (micro RNAs) as pivotal players. However, direct anti-inflammatory therapies may prove successful as adjuvant components but will likely never be used in the absence of strategies to lower plasma levels of atherogenic lipoproteins, the key point of the perception that atherosclerosis is not simply an inevitable result of senescence. In particular, given the importance of chemical modifications for lipoprotein atherogenicity, regulation of the enzymes involved might be a tempting target for pharmacological research.


2021 ◽  
pp. 1-2
Author(s):  
Marco Hugo Sánchez-Bustillos

<b>Background:</b> Recent studies have provided evidence for an important contribution of the immune system in the pathophysiology of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH). In this report, we investigated whether the inflammatory profile of pulmonary hypertension patients changes over time and correlates with patient WHO subgroups or survival. <b>Methods:</b> 50 PAH patients (16 idiopathic (I)PAH, 24 Connective Tissue Disease (CTD)-PAH and 10 Congenital Heart Disease (CHD)-PAH), 37 CTEPH patients and 18 healthy controls (HCs) were included in the study. Plasma inflammatory markers at baseline and after 1-year follow-up were measured using ELISAs. Subsequently, correlations with hemodynamic parameters and survival were explored and data sets were subjected to unbiased multivariate analyses. <b>Results:</b> At diagnosis, we found that plasma levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and the chemokines (C-X3-C) motif legend CXCL9 and CXCL13 in CTD-PAH patients were significantly increased, compared with HCs. In idiopathic PAH patients the levels of tumor growth factor-β (TGFβ), IL-10 and CXCL9 were elevated, compared with HCs. The increased CXCL9 and IL-8 concentrations in CETPH patients correlated significantly with decreased survival, suggesting that CXCL9 and IL-8 may be prognostic markers. After one year of treatment, IL-10, CXCL13 and TGFβ levels changed significantly in the PAH subgroups and CTEPH patients. Unbiased multivariate analysis revealed clustering of PH patients based on inflammatory mediators and clinical parameters, but did not separate the WHO subgroups. Importantly, these multivariate analyses separated patients with &#x3c;3 years and &#x3e;3 years survival, in particular when inflammatory mediators were combined with clinical parameters. <b>Discussion:</b> Our study revealed elevated plasma levels of inflammatory mediators in different PAH subgroups and CTEPH at baseline and at 1-year follow-up, whereby CXCL9 and IL-8 may prove to be prognostic markers for CTEPH patients. While this study is exploratory and hypothesis generating, our data indicate an important role for IL-8 and CXCL9 in CHD and CTEPH patients considering the increased plasma levels and the observed correlation with survival. <b>Conclusion:</b> In conclusion, our studies identified an inflammatory signature that clustered PH patients into WHO classification-independent subgroups that correlated with patient survival.


Biomedicines ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 9 (11) ◽  
pp. 1508
Author(s):  
Po-Ku Chen ◽  
Kai-Jieh Yeo ◽  
Po-Hao Huang ◽  
Shih-Hsin Chang ◽  
Ching-Kun Chang ◽  
...  

Lipid peroxidation (LPO) and hyper-ferritinemia are involved in inflammatory responses. Although hyper-ferritinemia is a characteristic of AOSD, its link to LPO remains unclear. We investigated the association between LPO and ferritin expression, and evaluated the relationship between LPO-related metabolites and inflammatory parameters. Mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) of LPO (C11-Biodipy581/591)-expressing PBMCs/monocytes in AOSD patients and healthy control (HC) subjects was determined by flow-cytometry analysis. Expression of ferritin and cytokines on PBMCs/macrophages was examined by immunoblotting. Plasma levels of LPO-related metabolites and cytokines were determined by ELISA and the MULTIPLEX platform, respectively. LPO MFI on PBMCs/monocytes were significantly higher in patients (median 4456 and 9091, respectively) compared with HC (1900, p < 0.05, and 4551, p < 0.01, respectively). Patients had higher ferritin expression on PBMCs (mean fold, 1.02) than HC (0.55, p < 0.05). Their ferritin expression levels on PBMCs stimulated with LPO inducers erastin or RSL3 (2.47 or 1.61, respectively) were higher than HC (0.84, p < 0.05, or 0.74, p < 0.01). Ferritin expression on erastin-treated/IL-1β-treated macrophages from patients were higher than those from HC (p < 0.001). The elevated levels of LPO-related metabolites, including malondialdehyde and 4-hydroxyalkenals, were positively correlated with disease activity scores, suggesting LPO involvement in AOSD pathogenesis. Increased ferritin expression on PBMCs/macrophages stimulated with LPO inducers indicates a link between LPO and elevated ferritin.


2021 ◽  
Vol 16 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Hong Xu ◽  
Jinwei Xie ◽  
Duan Wang ◽  
Qiang Huang ◽  
Zeyu Huang ◽  
...  

Abstract Background The preoperative diagnosis of periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) in patients undergoing re-revision arthroplasty is crucial, so we evaluated whether plasma levels of D-dimer and fibrin degradation product (FDP) could aid such diagnosis. Methods We retrospectively analyzed data on patients who underwent re-revision hip or knee arthroplasty at our institute during 2008–2020. Patients were stratified into those who experienced PJI or not, based on 2013 International Consensus Meeting Criteria. Plasma levels of D-dimer and FDP as well as levels of the traditional inflammatory biomarkers C-reactive protein (CRP), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and interleukin-6 were compared between the groups. The ability of these biomarkers to diagnose PJI was assessed based on the area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUC) curve, for which predictive cut-offs were optimized based on the Youden index. Results Based on a cut-off of 0.80 mg/L, D-dimer gave an AUC of 0.595, high sensitivity of 85.7% but poor specificity of 47.8%. Based on a cut-off of 2.80 mg/L, FDP gave an AUC of 0.550, poor sensitivity of 56.5% and poor specificity of 52.9%. CRP, ESR and interleukin-6 showed much better diagnostic ability, with AUCs > 0.82. The combination of CRP and interleukin-6 gave an AUC of 0.877, high sensitivity of 91.7% and acceptable specificity of 78.3%. Conclusions Plasma levels of D-dimer and FDP may be inappropriate for diagnosing PJI in patients undergoing re-revision arthroplasty, whereas the combination of serum CRP and interleukin-6 may be effective.


2021 ◽  
Vol 10 (20) ◽  
pp. 4796
Author(s):  
Andrea Dardis ◽  
Eleonora Pavan ◽  
Martina Fabris ◽  
Rosalia Maria Da Riol ◽  
Annalisa Sechi ◽  
...  

(1) Background: Niemann–Pick type C disease (NPCD) is an autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disorder caused by mutations in the NPC1 or NPC2 genes. The clinical presentation is characterized by visceral and neurological involvement. Apart from a small group of patients presenting a severe perinatal form, all patients develop progressive and fatal neurological disease with an extremely variable age of onset. Different biomarkers have been identified; however, they poorly correlate with neurological disease. In this study we assessed the possible role of plasma NfL as a neurological disease-associated biomarker in NPCD. (2) Methods: Plasma NfL levels were measured in 75 healthy controls and 26 patients affected by NPCD (24 NPC1 and 2 NPC2; 39 samples). (3) Results: Plasma NfL levels in healthy controls correlated with age and were significantly lower in pediatric patients as compared to adult subjects (p = 0.0017). In both pediatric and adult NPCD patients, the plasma levels of NfL were significantly higher than in age-matched controls (p < 0.0001). Most importantly, plasma NfL levels in NPCD patients with neurological involvement were significantly higher than the levels found in patients free of neurological signs at the time of sampling, both in the pediatric and the adult group (p = 0.0076; p = 0.0032, respectively). Furthermore, in adults the NfL levels in non-neurological patients were comparable with those found in age-matched controls. No correlations between plasma NfL levels and NPCD patient age at sampling or plasma levels of cholestan 3β-5α-6β-triol were found. (4) Conclusions: These data suggest a promising role of plasma NfL as a possible neurological disease-associated biomarker in NPCD.


2021 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Author(s):  
Ram P. Singh ◽  
Bevra H. Hahn ◽  
David S. Bischoff

Recent evidence suggests the existence of a nexus between inflammatory pathways and the female sex hormone 17β-estradiol, resulting in increased interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs), autoantibodies, and dysregulation of immune cells in SLE. However, the molecular mechanisms and the effect of estradiol on candidate target genes and their pathways remains poorly understood. Our previous work suggests that female SLE patients have increased estradiol levels compared to healthy controls. In the present study, we explored the effects of 17β-estradiol treatment on expression of IFN (interferons)-stimulated genes and pro-inflammatory cytokines/chemokines. We found significantly increased (5-10-fold) expression of IFN-regulated genes in healthy females. Furthermore, we found significantly increased plasma levels of IL-6, IL-12, IL-17, IL-18, stem cell factor (SCF), and IL-21/IL-23 in SLE patients compared to healthy controls, and those levels positively correlated with the plasma levels of 17β-estradiol. In addition, levels of IL-21 positively correlated with the SLE disease activity index (SLEDAI) score of SLE patients. In vitro treatment of PBMCs from either SLE patients or healthy controls with 17β-estradiol at physiological concentration (~50 pg/ml) also significantly increased secretion of many pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines (IL-6, IL-12, IL-17, IL-8, IFN-γ; MIP1α, and MIP1β) in both groups. Further our data revealed that 17β-estradiol significantly increased the percentage of CD3+CD69+ and CD3+IFNγ+ T cells; whereas, simultaneous addition of 17β-estradiol and an ERα inhibitor prevented this effect. Collectively, our findings indicate that 17β-estradiol participates in the induction of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines and further influences interferon genes and pathways.


2021 ◽  
pp. 107815522110525
Author(s):  
Betel Del Rosario García ◽  
Iris González García ◽  
María Micaela Viña Romero ◽  
Jonathan González García ◽  
Ruth Ramos Díaz ◽  
...  

Introduction The addition of imatinib to the therapeutic arsenal for chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) has changed the natural course of the disease, in such a way that it is now considered a chronic pathology. However, to achieve therapeutic success, it is necessary to reach adequate plasma concentrations to ensure efficacy and safety. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the plasma concentration of imatinib, analysing its influence on effectiveness and safety in patients with CML. Methods We performed a descriptive, multicentre study in which imatinib plasma levels from patients diagnosed with CML between 2019–2020 were analysed. An optimal therapeutic range of 750–1500 ng/mL was established for the stratification of patients, according to their minimum plasma concentrations measured at steady state (Cssmin). Results A total of 28 patients were included, of whom only 39.3% (n = 11) showed Cssmin within the therapeutic range. 100% of patients with Cssmin >750 ng/mL achieved an optimal molecular response, while only 50% of patients with Cssmin <750 ng/mL achieved an optimal molecular response ( p = 0.0004). The toxicity rate was 36.4% for patients with Cssmin >1500 ng/mL and 5.9% for those with Cssmin <1500 ng/mL ( p = 0.039). Conclusions This study aimed to describe the correlation between the toxicity and effectiveness of imatinib according to its Cssmin in routine clinical practice conditions. Based on our findings, it would be certainly justified to monitor patient plasma concentrations of imatinib on a daily routine basis in our hospitals.


2021 ◽  
Vol 15 (10) ◽  
pp. e0009821
Author(s):  
Gil Benedek ◽  
Mahmoud Abed El Latif ◽  
Keren Miller ◽  
Mila Rivkin ◽  
Ally Ahmed Ramadhan Lasu ◽  
...  

Nodding syndrome (NS) is a catastrophic and enigmatic childhood epilepsy, accompanied by multiple neurological impairments and neuroinflammation. Of all the infectious, environmental and psychological factors associated with NS, the major culprit is Onchocerca Volvulus (Ov)–a parasitic worm transmitted to human by blackflies. NS seems to be an ’Autoimmune Epilepsy’ in light of the recent findings of deleterious autoimmune antibodies to Glutamate receptors and to Leiomodin-I in NS patients. Moreover, we recently found immunogenetic fingerprints in HLA peptide-binding grooves associate with protection or susceptibility to NS. Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is an immune-regulatory cytokine playing a central role in modulating innate and adaptive immunity. MIF is also involved in various pathologies: infectious, autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases, epilepsy and others. Herein, two functional polymorphisms in the MIF gene, a −794 CATT5–8 microsatellite repeat and a −173 G/C single-nucleotide polymorphism, were assessed in 49 NS patients and 51 healthy controls from South Sudan. We also measured MIF plasma levels in established NS patients and healthy controls. We discovered that the frequency of the high-expression MIF -173C containing genotype was significantly lower in NS patients compared to healthy controls. Interestingly however, MIF plasma levels were significantly elevated in NS patients than in healthy controls. We further demonstrated that the HLA protective and susceptibility associations are dominant over the MIF association with NS.Our findings suggest that MIF might have a dual role in NS. Genetically controlled high-expression MIF genotype is associated with disease protection. However, elevated MIF in the plasma may contribute to the detrimental autoimmunity, neuroinflammation and epilepsy.


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