Scientific Lit picture 03

Scientific literature review

There are many peer-reviewed papers covering the diagnosis of autoimmune diseases, and it is frequently difficult for healthcare professionals to keep up with the literature.  As a special service to our readers, CLI presents a few key abstracts from the clinical and scientific literature selected by our editorial board as being particularly worthy of attention.

Blood biomarkers as outcome measures in inflammatory neurologic diseases
El Ayoubi NK, Khoury SJ. Neurotherapeutics. 2016 Oct 18. [Epub ahead of print]
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system. Only a few biomarkers are available in MS clinical practice, such as cerebrospinal fluid oligoclonal bands and immunoglobulin index, serum anti-aquaporin 4 antibodies, and serum anti-John Cunningham virus antibodies. Thus, there is a significant unmet need for biomarkers to assess prognosis, response to therapy, or potential treatment complications. Here we describe emerging biomarkers that are in development, focusing on those from peripheral blood. There are several limitations in the process of discovery and validation of a good biomarker, such as the pathophysiological complexity of MS and the technical difficulties in globally standardizing methods for sampling, processing, and conserving biological specimens. In spite of these limitations, ongoing international collaborations allow the exploration of many interesting molecules and markers to validate diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic-response biomarkers.

Gene polymorphisms as predictors of response to biological therapies in psoriasis patients
Linares-Pineda TM, Cañadas-Garre M, Sánchez-Pozo A, Calleja-Hernández MÁ. Pharmacol Res. 2016; 113(Pt A): 71–80.
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune skin disease, characterized by the formation of erythematous scaly plaques on the skin and joints. The therapies for psoriasis are mainly symptomatic and sometimes with poor response. Response among patients is very variable, especially with biological drugs (adalimumab, etarnecept, infliximab and ustekimumab). This variability may be partly explained by the effect of different genetic backgrounds. This has prompted the investigation of many genes, such as FCGR3A, HLA, IL17F, IL23R, PDE3A-SLCO1C1, TNFα and other associated genes, as potential candidates to predict response to the different biological drugs used for the treatment of psoriasis. In this article, we will review the influence of gene polymorphisms investigated to date on response to biological drugs in psoriasis patients.

Biomarker discovery by modeling Behçet’s disease with patient-specific human induced pluripotent stem cells
Son MY, Kim YD, Seol B, Lee MO, Na HJ, Yoo B, Chang JS, Cho YS. Stem Cells Dev. 2016 Oct 12. [Epub ahead of print]
Behçet’s disease (BD) is a chronic inflammatory and multisystemic autoimmune disease of unknown etiology. Due to the lack of a specific test for BD, its diagnosis is very difficult, and therapeutic options are limited. Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology, which provides inaccessible disease-relevant cell types, opens a new era for disease treatment. Here, we generated BD iPSCs from patient somatic cells and differentiated them into hematopoietic precursor cells (BD iPSC-HPCs) as BD model cells. Based on comparative transcriptome analysis using our BD model cells, we identified 8 novel BD specific genes, AGTR2, CA9, CD44, CXCL1, HTN3, IL-2, PTGER4 and TSLP, that were differentially expressed in BD patients, compared to healthy controls or patients with other immune diseases. The use of CXCL1 as a BD biomarker was further validated at the protein level using both a BD iPSC-HPC-based assay system and BD patient serum samples. Furthermore, we show that our BD iPSC-HPC-based drug screening system is highly effective for testing CXCL1 BD biomarkers, as determined by monitoring the efficacy of existing anti-inflammatory drugs. Our results shed new light on the usefulness of patient-specific iPSC technology in the development of a benchmarking platform for disease-specific biomarkers, phenotype- or target-driven drug discovery, and patient-tailored therapies.

Overview of laboratory testing and clinical presentations of complement deficiencies and dysregulation
Frazer-Abel A, Sepiashvili L, Mbughuni MM, Willrich MA. Adv Clin Chem. 2016; 77: 1–75.
Historically, complement disorders have been attributed to immunodeficiency associated with severe or frequent infection. More recently, however, complement has been recognized for its role in inflammation, autoimmune disorders, and vision loss. This paradigm shift requires a fundamental change in how complement testing is performed and interpreted. Here, we provide an overview of the complement pathways and summarize recent literature related to hereditary and acquired angioedema, infectious diseases, autoimmunity, and age-related macular degeneration. The impact of complement dysregulation in atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, and C3 glomerulopathies is also described. The advent of therapeutics such as eculizumab and other complement inhibitors has driven the need to more fully understand complement to facilitate diagnosis and monitoring. In this report, we review analytical methods and discuss challenges for the clinical laboratory in measuring this complex biochemical system.