Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Autoantibodies Precede Disease in Lupus Patients

06.11.2003


A new study funded largely by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) reveals that people diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus) — an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks its own tissues — have autoantibodies in their blood years before the symptoms of lupus appear. The early detection of autoantibodies — proteins that attach to the body’s healthy tissues by mistake — may help in recognizing those who will develop the disease and allow physicians to monitor them before they might otherwise be noticed.



Senior author John Harley, M.D., Ph.D., of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and the University of Oklahoma, and his colleagues there and in other institutions, tested blood from 130 U.S. armed forces servicemen and women, without knowing their identities, who were once healthy but later developed lupus. Using many years of previously collected samples from the Department of Defense Serum Repository, the researchers compared samples from the lupus patients to samples from those who never developed lupus. When testing early samples from both groups, they found that those with lupus had the autoantibodies in their blood for months to years before symptoms appeared. Some of the autoantibodies, such as antinuclear antibody, had been present longer than others. The lupus autoantibodies, say the authors, tend to accumulate in the blood in a predictable pattern up until diagnosis, when the rate of new autoantibodies slows.

"We don’t know whether the virtual halt in the accumulation of new autoantibodies is a result of therapy now typically used or whether the relative stability in the autoantibodies found after diagnosis is a feature of the natural history of lupus," said Dr. Harley. "Certainly, this observation reminds us of how important diagnosis is for what subsequently happens in the immune system of the patient."


NIAMS Director Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D., said "Identifying such patterns in disease progression may lead researchers to understand what causes autoantibodies to appear when they do and how they contribute to the disease." NIAMS researcher Gregory Dennis, M.D., a coauthor of the study, said, "Lupus and other autoimmune diseases often go untreated for years and are diagnosed only after damage to the body tissues has occurred. Findings such as these, which will help us identify and monitor people who may develop these diseases, are extremely valuable."

Lupus can affect many parts of the body, including the joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels and brain. People who have lupus may have many different symptoms, but some of the most common ones include extreme fatigue, painful or swollen joints (arthritis), unexplained fever, skin rashes and kidney problems. Many more women than men have lupus. It is three times more common in African American women than in Caucasian women and is also more common in women of Hispanic, Asian and Native American descent.

Other institutions taking part in the study included NIAMS, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine. Funding was also provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Center for Research Resources, both part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institutes of Health.

To contact Dr. Harley, call Adam Cohen at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation at 001-405-271-7159.

Ray Fleming | NIAMS
Further information:
http://www.niams.nih.gov

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>