Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pitt researchers identify biomarkers of lupus which could lead to quicker and better diagnosis

04.11.2004


University of Pittsburgh researchers have identified biomarkers that could result in earlier and more accurate diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a devastating disease that affects as many as 1.5 million Americans, and occurs 10 to 15 times more frequently in women. The results are published in the November 2004 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.



"This is the first report of abnormal levels of the protein erythrocyte-C4d in human disease," said lead author Susan Manzi, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of medicine, epidemiology and dermatology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. "Abnormally high levels of erythrocyte-C4d and low levels of erythrocyte-CR1 are characteristic of SLE and combined measurement of the two proteins has high diagnostic sensitivity and specificity for lupus."

The significance of the finding is substantial, according to Joseph Ahearn, M.D., associate professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and senior author of the study. "Today we are one step closer to providing patients with an immediate and accurate diagnosis, one step closer to providing physicians with the ability to offer better treatment options and one step closer to providing incentive to lower the cost of health care for patients suffering from lupus," Dr. Ahearn said. "Lupus is the prototypical autoimmune disease and arguably the greatest diagnostic challenge among rheumatologic diseases," he said. "The spectrum of disease among patients with SLE is broad and ranges from subtle or vague symptoms to life-threatening multiorgan failure, and the manifestations of lupus often mimic those of other diseases makes it difficult to diagnose."


It is not unusual for a patient with lupus to seek advice from a variety of specialists and subspecialists over a period of years before being accurately diagnosed, which results in delays in receiving proper therapy and an ultimately greater cost for treating the disease and its complications. Although there is no cure for lupus, there are many ways to treat symptoms, including chemotherapy. Currently, most physicians rely on blood abnormalities to aid in the diagnosis of SLE, but according to Dr. Manzi, these tests are inadequate because they are not sensitive or specific enough.

In the study, researchers used blood samples taken from each participant and analyzed them using flow cytometry to compare the levels of proteins in 100 patients who were confirmed to have lupus, 133 patients who had other diseases and conditions including myositis, systemic sclerosis, hepatitis and rheumatoid arthritis, and 84 healthy patients.

Lupus is a widespread and chronic autoimmune disease that, for unknown reasons, causes the immune system to attack the body’s own tissue and organs, including the joints, kidneys, heart, lungs, brain, blood and skin. The immune system normally protects the body against viruses, bacteria and other foreign materials. In an autoimmune disease like lupus, the immune system loses its ability to tell the difference between foreign substances and its own cells and tissue. The immune system then makes antibodies directed against itself.

Alan Aldinger | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.upmc.edu
http://www.lupuscenter.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University

nachricht How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>