Antineutrophil cytoplasm antibody (ANCA)–associated vasculitis (AAV) commonly results in glomerulonephritis, in which neutrophils and monocytes have important roles. The heterodimer calprotectin (S100A8/S100A9, mrp8/14) is a Toll-like receptor-4 ligand found in neutrophils and monocytes and is elevated in inflammatory conditions. By immunohistochemistry of renal biopsies, patients with focal or crescentic glomerular lesions were found to have the highest expression of calprotectin and those with sclerotic the least. Serum levels of calprotectin as measured by ELISA were elevated in patients with active AAV and the levels decreased but did not normalize during remission, suggesting subclinical inflammation. Calprotectin levels in patients with limited systemic disease increased following treatment withdrawal and were significantly elevated in patients who relapsed compared with those who did not. As assessed by flow cytometry, patients with AAV had higher monocyte and neutrophil cell surface calprotectin expression than healthy controls, but this was not associated with augmented mRNA expression in CD14+ monocytes or CD16+ neutrophils. Thus, serum calprotectin is a potential disease biomarker in patients with AAV, and may have a role in disease pathogenesis.
ANCA; glomerulonephritis; immunology; macrophages; pathology; vasculitis
Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) are well known to be associated with small vessel vasculitic diseases such as microscopic polyangiitis (MPA), allergic granulomatous angiitis (AGA), and Granulomatosis with poly angiitis: GPA (Wegener’s). Disease assessment by 1) vasculitic activity, 2) damage resulting from vasculitis, and 3) patient function, were the required endpoints for the therapeutic trials in ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV). Harmonized steroids and cyclophosphamide or azathioprine are effective for active AAV. In evaluating tools for monitoring disease, titers of ANCA and the levels of CRP were found useful in AAV. However, it will be important for clinicians to observe AAV patients more closely and reduce immunosuppressive drug doses more cautiously, especially to prevent several infections (i.e., deep mycosis, pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia and cytomegalovirus). We indicated that strategy of infection control in immunosuppressive therapy for AAV. (J Jpn Coll Angiol, 2009, 49: 93-99)
compromized host; immunosuppressive therapy; ANCA associated vasculitis; infection control
The complement system is crucial for the development of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV). In particular, C5a and its receptor on neutrophils, CD88, play a central role. The functional role of the second receptor of C5a, C5L2, remains unclear. In the current study, we investigated the role of C5L2 in C5a-primed neutrophils for ANCA-induced activation.
The effect of blocking C5L2 by anti-human C5L2 blocking antibody were tested on respiratory burst and degranulation of C5a-primed neutrophils activated with ANCA, as well as on membrane-bound proteinase 3 (mPR3) and concentration of myeloperoxidase (MPO) in supernatant of C5a-primed neutrophils. An antagonist for CD88 was also employed.
Blocking C5L2 resulted in a significantly decreased MPO concentration in the supernatant of C5a-primed neutrophils. mPR3 expression increased from 209.0±43.0 in untreated cells to 444.3±60.8 after C5a treatment (P<0.001), and decreased to 375.8±65.44, 342.2±54.3 and 313.7±43.6 by pre-incubating blocking C5L2 antibody at 2.5 µg/ml, 5 µg/ml or 10 µg/ml (compared with C5a-priming group, P<0.001, P<0.001, and P<0.001), respectively. In C5a-primed neutrophils, subsequently activating with MPO-ANCA-positive IgG, the MFI value was 425.8±160.6, which decreased to 292.8±141.2, 289.7±130.0 and 280.3±136.4 upon pre-incubation with mouse anti-human C5L2 blocking antibody at 2.5 µg/ml, 5 µg/ml or 10 µg/ml (compared with C5a-primed neutrophils, for MPO-ANCA-positive IgG-induced activation, P<0.05, P<0.05, and P<0.05), respectively. Blocking C5L2 also resulted in significantly decreased C5a-primed neutrophils for PR3-ANCA-positive IgG-induced activation. Moreover, the lactoferrin concentration in the supernant significantly decreased in pre-incubation with anti-human C5L2 blocking antibody, compared with C5a-primed neutrophils induced by PR3- or MPO-ANCA-positive IgG.
C5L2 may be implicated in the pro-inflammatory role in C5a-primed neutrophils for ANCA-induced activation.
Increasing evidences have suggested the pathogenic role of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) directing myeloperoxidase (MPO) in ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV). The current study aimed to analyze the association between the linear epitopes of MPO-ANCA and clinicopathological features of patients with AAV.
Six recombinant linear fragments, covering the whole length amino acid sequence of a single chain of MPO, were produced from E.coli. Sera from 77 patients with AAV were collected at presentation. 13 out of the 77 patients had co-existence of serum anti-GBM antibodies. Ten patients also had sequential sera during follow up. The epitope specificities were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using the recombinant fragments as solid phase ligands.
Sera from 45 of the 77 (58.4%) patients with AAV showed a positive reaction to one or more linear fragments of the MPO chain. The Birmingham Vasculitis Activity Scores and the sera creatinine were significantly higher in patients with positive binding to the light chain fragment than that in patients without the binding. The epitopes recognized by MPO-ANCA from patients with co-existence of serum anti-GBM antibodies were mainly located in the N-terminus of the heavy chain. In 5 out of the 6 patients, whose sera in relapse recognize linear fragments, the reactivity to linear fragments in relapse was similar to that of initial onset.
The epitope specificities of MPO-ANCA were associated with disease activity and some clinicopathological features in patients with ANCA-associated vasculitis.
In animal models of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV), the proportion of CD45RC T cell subsets is important for disease susceptibility. Their human counterparts are, however, functionally ill defined. In this report, we studied their distribution in healthy controls (HC), AAV patients and in Systemic lupus erythematous (SLE) patients as disease controls. We showed that CD45RC expression level on human CD4 and CD8 T cells identifies subsets that are highly variable among individuals. Interestingly, AAV patients exhibit an increased proportion of CD45RClow CD4 T cells as compared to HC and SLE patients. This increase is stable over time and independent of AAV subtype, ANCA specificity, disease duration, or number of relapses. We also analyzed the cytokine profile of purified CD4 and CD8 CD45RC T cell subsets from HC, after stimulation with anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 mAbs. The CD45RC subsets exhibit different cytokine profiles. Type-1 cytokines (IL-2, IFN-γ and TNF-α) were produced by all CD45RC T cell subsets, while the production of IL-17, type-2 (IL-4, IL-5) and regulatory (IL-10) cytokines was restricted to the CD45RClow subset. In conclusion, we have shown that CD45RC expression divides human T cells in functionally distinct subsets that are imbalanced in AAV. Since this imbalance is stable over time and independent of several disease parameters, we hypothesize that this is a pre-existing immune abnormality involved in the etiology of AAV.
High-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) is a nuclear and cytosolic protein that is increasingly recognized as an important proinflammatory mediator actively secreted from monocytes and macrophages and passively released from necrotic cells. In antineutrophilic cytoplasmatic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV), the kidneys are commonly affected vital organs, characterized by focal necrotizing and/or crescentic pauci-immune glomerulonephritis. The aim of the study was to determine whether HMGB1 serum levels are elevated in AAV with renal manifestations. A total of 30 AAV patients (16 female and 14 male; median age 59 years, range 17–82) with Wegener granulomatosis, microscopic polyangiitis and Churg-Strauss syndrome with available renal biopsies and serum samples were included. In seven cases, serum was also obtained at rebiopsy in remission. HMGB1 was analyzed with Western blot. Birmingham Vasculitis Activity Score (BVAS, version 2003), C-reactive protein (CRP), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), urinanalysis, creatinine, estimated glomerular filtration rate, sex and age were included in the analysis. Twenty-five episodes of biopsy-proven active disease with BVAS 17.9 ± 4.6 and 13 cases with inactive biopsies and BVAS 2.3 ± 3.7 (P = 0.0001) were identified. CRP, ESR, hematuria and proteinuria were significantly higher in active cases. HMGB1 was significantly elevated (P = 0.01) comparing active with inactive cases (120 ± 48 versus 78 ± 46 ng/mL) and significantly lower in the seven control patients (P = 0.03) at rebiopsy in remission. HMGB1 remained higher in inactive cases compared with historic healthy controls (10.9 ± 10.5 ng/mL). HMGB1 levels did not differ significantly between AAV subgroups. CRP and ESR did not correlate with HMGB1. HMGB1 is significantly increased in AAV with renal involvement. Residual HMGB1 elevation in remission could possibly reflect low-grade inflammatory activity or tissue damage. Future studies may further reveal whether HMGB1 is useful as a marker of disease activity and a predictor of outcome in AAV.
Reports of an association between antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) and autoimmune neutropenia have rarely included cases of proven vasculitis. A case of ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV) with recurrent neutropenia is described and relevant literature on the association between ANCA, neutropenia, and vasculitis is reviewed.
Longitudinal clinical assessments and laboratory findings are described in a patient with AAV and recurrent episodes of profound neutropenia from December 2008 – October 2010. A PubMed database search of the medical literature was performed for papers published from 1960 through October 2010 to identify all reported cases of ANCA and neutropenia.
A 49 year-old man developed recurrent neutropenia, periodic fevers, arthritis, biopsy-proven cutaneous vasculitis, sensorineural hearing loss, epididymitis, and positive tests for ANCA with specificity for antibodies to both proteinase 3 and myeloperoxidase. Antineutrophil membrane antibodies were detected during an acute neutropenic phase and were not detectable in a post-recovery sample, whereas ANCA titers did not seem to correlate with neutropenia. An association between ANCA and neutropenia has been reported in 74 cases from 24 studies in the context of drug/toxin exposure, underlying autoimmune disease, or chronic neutropenia without underlying autoimmune disease. In these cases, the presence of atypical ANCA patterns and other antibodies were common; however, vasculitis was uncommon and when it occurred was usually limited to the skin and in cases of underlying toxin exposure.
ANCA is associated with autoimmune neutropenia, but systemic vasculitis rarely occurs in association with ANCA and neutropenia. The interaction between neutrophils and ANCA may provide insight into understanding both autoimmune neutropenia and AAV.
vasculitis; neutropenia; antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)
The complement system is one of the important contributing factors in the development of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV). C5a and the neutrophil C5a receptor play a central role in antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-mediated neutrophil recruitment and activation. The current study further investigated the signaling pathways of C5a-mediated priming of human neutrophils for ANCA-induced neutrophil activation.
The effects of the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK) inhibitor (SB202190), extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) inhibitor (PD98059), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) inhibitor (6o) and phosphoinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor (LY294002) were tested on respiratory burst and degranulation of C5a-primed neutrophils activated with ANCA, as well as on C5a-induced increase in expression of membrane-bound PR3 (mPR3) on neutrophils. For C5a-primed neutrophils for MPO-ANCA-induced respiratory burst, the mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) value was 254.8±67.1, which decreased to 203.6±60.3, 204.4±36.7, 202.4±49.9 and 188±47.9 upon pre-incubation with SB202190, PD98059, LY294002 and the mixture of above-mentioned three inhibitors (compared with that without inhibitors, P<0.01, P<0.05, P<0.01 and P<0.05), respectively. For PR3-ANCA-positive IgG, the MFI value increased in C5a-primed neutrophils, which decreased upon pre-incubation with above-mentioned inhibitors. The lactoferrin concentration increased in C5a-primed neutrophils induced by MPO or PR3-ANCA-positive IgG supernatant and decreased upon pre-incubation with above-mentioned three inhibitors. mPR3 expression increased from 923.3±182.4 in untreated cells to 1278.3±299.3 after C5a treatment and decreased to 1069.9±188.9, 1100±238.2, 1092.3±231.8 and 1053.9±200.3 by SB202190, PD98059, LY294002 and the mixture of above-mentioned three inhibitors (compared with that without inhibitors, P<0.01, P<0.05, P<0.01 and P<0.01), respectively.
Activation of p38MAPK, ERK and PI3K are important steps in the translocation of ANCA antigens and C5a-induced activation of neutrophils by ANCA.
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a family of receptors that sense pathogen associated patterns such as bacterial cell wall proteins. Bacterial infections are associated with anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV). Here, we assessed the expression of TLRs 2, 4, and 9 by peripheral blood leukocytes from patients with AAV, and investigated TLR mediated responses ex vivo.
Expression of TLRs was determined in 38 AAV patients (32 remission, 6 active disease), and 20 healthy controls (HC). Membrane expression of TLRs 2, 4, and 9, and intracellular expression of TLR9 by B lymphocytes, T lymphocytes, NK cells, monocytes and granulocytes was assessed using 9-color flowcytometry. Whole blood from 13 patients and 7 HC was stimulated ex vivo with TLR 2, 4 and 9 ligands and production of cytokines was analyzed.
In patients, we observed increased proportions of TLR expressing NK cells. Furthermore, patient monocytes expressed higher levels of TLR2 compared to HC, and in a subset of patients an increased proportion of TLR4+ monocytes was observed. Monocytes from nasal carriers of Staphylococcus aureus expressed increased levels of intracellular TLR9. Membrane expression of TLRs by B lymphocytes, T lymphocytes, and granulocytes was comparable between AAV patients and HC. Patients with active disease did not show differential TLR expression compared to patients in remission. Ex vivo responses to TLR ligands did not differ significantly between patients and HC.
In AAV, monocytes and NK cells display increased TLR expression. Increased TLR expression by these leukocytes, probably resulting from increased activation, could play a role in disease (re)activation.
The endothelial-specific Angiopoietin-Tie2 ligand-receptor system is an important regulator of endothelial activation. Binding of angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) to Tie2 receptor renders the endothelial barrier responsive to pro-inflammatory cytokines. We previously showed that circulating Ang-2 correlated with disease severity in a small cohort of critically ill patients with anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated glomerulonephritis. The current study reassessed Ang-2 as a biomarker of disease activity and relapse in AAV. Circulating Ang-2 was measured in 162 patients with severe AAV (BVAS/WG≥3, with or without glomerulonephritis) in a clinical trial. Ang-2 levels during active AAV were compared to levels in the same patients during remission (BVAS/WG = 0). Levels in clinical subsets of AAV were compared, and association with future disease course was assessed. Ang-2 levels were elevated in severe disease (median 3.0 ng/ml, interquartile range 1.9–4.4) compared to healthy controls (1.2, 0.9–1.5). However, they did not reliably decline with successful treatment (median 2.6 ng/ml, interquartile range 1.9–3.8, median change −0.1). Ang-2 correlated weakly with BVAS/WG score (r = 0.17), moderately with markers of systemic inflammation (r = 0.25–0.41), and inversely with renal function (r = −0.36). Levels were higher in patients with glomerulonephritis, but levels adjusted for renal dysfunction were no different in patients with or without glomerulonephritis. Levels were higher in patients with newly diagnosed AAV and lower in patients in whom treatment had recently been started. Ang-2 levels during active disease did not predict response to treatment, and Ang-2 levels in remission did not predict time to flare. Thus, Ang-2 appears to have limited practical value in AAV as a biomarker of disease activity at time of measurement or for predicting future activity.
To evaluate whether T cell activation, as reflected by levels of soluble interleukin 2 receptor (sIL2R), soluble CD30 (sCD30), IL‐10 and B cell activator of the tumour necrosis factor family (BAFF) at diagnosis and during initial follow‐up, is predictive for persistent or renewed antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) positivity and clinical relapse in patients with vasculitis associated with proteinase 3‐antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (PR3‐ANCA).
87 Patients with PR3‐ANCA‐associated vasculitis and at least 2 years of follow‐up were included in the study. At diagnosis, and at 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months after diagnosis, cytoplasmic ANCA titres were detected by indirect immunofluorescence (IIF), and PR3‐ANCA, sIL2R, sCD30, IL‐10 and BAFF levels were assessed by ELISA. 31 healthy volunteers provided plasma samples for comparison. Levels of immune markers were related to ANCA positivity and relapse during follow‐up.
Plasma levels of sIL2R, sCD30 and BAFF were higher in patients than in controls at all time points. Plasma levels of sIL2R, sCD30 and IL‐10 were higher at diagnosis and relapse than during remission. At 18 months, sCD30 (p<0.001) and sIL2R levels (p = 0.01) were significantly higher in PR3‐ANCA‐positive patients (detected by ELISA) than in PR3‐ANCA‐negative patients. ANCA‐positive patients detected by ELISA or IIF at 24 months had significantly higher plasma sCD30 levels (p = 0.02 and p = 0.03, respectively) than ANCA‐negative patients.
Increased T cell activation in patients with ANCA‐associated vasculitis in remission during and after immunosuppressive treatment is associated with persistent or renewed ANCA positivity.
Human Heat Shock Protein 60 (hHSP60) has been implicated in autoimmunity through molecular mimicry, based on the high degree of homology with HSP65 of micro-organisms leading to autoimmune recognition of the human protein. Additionally, sequence homology between hHSP60 and myeloperoxidase (MPO) has been described. MPO is a major autoantigen in vasculitis associated with antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA). We hypothesized that infections may trigger the ANCA response against MPO through hHSP60.
In 86 consecutive patients with ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV), anti-hHSP60 and anti-mycobacterial HSP65 were measured by ELISA. Patients were compared with 69 healthy controls (HC). Continuous data between groups were compared using Wilcoxon signed rank test and Kruskal-Wallis test with Dunn's post-test when appropriate. Correlations between data were derived using Spearman correlation. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were obtained using Fisher's exact test.
At diagnosis, median anti-mHSP65 level was higher in AAV (median [range]: 42.5 [0–500]), and subsequently in MPO-ANCA (44 [7–500]), compared to HC (22 [0–430]). Anti-hHSP60 levels in AAV were not higher compared to HC (18 [0–319] and 18.5 [0–98], respectively). However, in MPO-ANCA anti-hHSP60 levels were increased (32.5 [0–319]) compared to PR3-ANCA (13 [0–79]) and HC. We could not detect cross-reactivity between hHSP60 and MPO-ANCA. There was a correlation between anti-mHSP65 and anti-hHSP60 levels (r = 0.32, P = 0.003) but not between anti-hHSP60 and MPO-ANCA (r = -0.064, P = 0.69).
Antibodies against mHSP65 are higher in AAV compared to HC, and anti-hHSP60 antibodies are higher in patients with MPO-ANCA than in patients with PR3-ANCA and HC. Although this finding may be indicative for cross-reactivity between MPO-ANCA and hHSP60, additional assays did not support this hypothesis.
Indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) employing ethanol-fixed neutrophils (ethN) is still the method of choice for assessing antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) in ANCA-associated vasculitides (AAV). However, conventional fluorescence microscopy is subjective and prone to high variability. The objective of this study was to evaluate novel pattern recognition algorithms for the standardized automated interpretation of ANCA patterns.
Seventy ANCA-positive samples (20 antimyeloperoxidase ANCA, 50 antiproteinase3 ANCA) and 100 controls from healthy individuals analyzed on ethN and formalin-fixed neutrophils (formN) by IIF were used as a 'training set' for the development of pattern recognition algorithms. Sera from 342 patients ('test set') with AAV and other systemic rheumatic and infectious diseases were tested for ANCA patterns using the novel pattern recognition algorithms and conventional fluorescence microscopy.
Interpretation software employing pattern recognition algorithms was developed enabling positive/negative discrimination and classification of cytoplasmic ANCA (C-ANCA) and perinuclear ANCA (P-ANCA). Comparison of visual reading of the 'test set' samples with automated interpretation revealed Cohen's kappa (κ) values of 0.955 on ethN and 0.929 on formN for positive/negative discrimination. Analysis of the 'test set' with regard to the discrimination between C-ANCA and P-ANCA patterns showed a high agreement for ethN (κ = 0.746) and formN (κ = 0.847). There was no significant difference between visual and automated interpretation regarding positive/negative discrimination on ethN and formN, as well as ANCA pattern recognition (P > 0.05, respectively).
Pattern recognition algorithms can assist in the automated interpretation of ANCA IIF. Automated reading of ethN and formN IIF patterns demonstrated high consistency with visual ANCA assessment.
Antibodies to neutrophil cytoplasmic antigens (ANCA) are good serological markers for patients with mainly vasculitic conditions. Two main types of ANCAs have been detected, the first termed cytoplasmic antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (cANCA) are mainly associated with patients with Wegener's granulomatosis, the other termed perinuclear antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (pANCA) are mainly associated with patients with renal vasculitis, rheumatic and collagen disorders. These antibodies are against various constituents of neutrophil granules. In patients with myelodysplasia, defects in normal granulocyte development are seen. We report a series of twelve patients with myelodysplasia of whom at least four showed a low titre and one a high titre of pANCA. Two of these patients also had demonstrable activity against myeloperoxidase (MPO). None of these patients had any evidence of systemic or cutaneous vasculitis or of any autoimmune disorder. There was no pANCA positivity in an age matched control group.
The prevalence of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA)
was studied in 12 children with Wegener's granulomatosis. The serum
samples were taken in the active phase of disease and were screened for
ANCA by indirect immunofluorescence with normal neutrophils and enzyme
linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using crude neutrophil extract,
proteinase 3, myeloperoxidase, cathepsin G, lactoferrin, and elastase
as antigens. Of these 12 patients, 10 were positive for ANCA in the
active phase of their illness, and they showed a predominantly
cytoplasmic ANCA staining pattern on indirect immunofluorescence. There
were high titres of ANCA directed against crude neutrophil extract,
proteinase 3, myeloperoxidase, and cathepsin G. IgM isotypes occurred
as commonly as IgG isotypes. Therefore, screening for ANCA is usually
but not invariably positive in children with Wegener's granulomatosis.
Specific diagnosis still relies on clinical and pathological features,
and the value of ANCA in the diagnosis of paediatric Wegener's
granulomatosis requires further study.
Autoimmune diseases are complex and have genetic and environmental susceptibility factors. The objective was to test the genetic association of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) – associated systemic vasculitis (AAV) with SNPs in the IL2RA region and to correlate genotype with serum levels of IL-2RA.
Using a cohort of over 700 AAV patients, two SLE case-control studies and an SLE trio collection (totalling over 1000 SLE patients), and a TaqMan genotyping approach, we tested 3 SNPs in the IL2RA locus, rs11594656, rs2104286 & rs41295061, each with a prior association with autoimmune disease; rs11594656 and rs41295061 with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and rs2104286 with multiple sclerosis (MS) and T1D.
We show that SLE is associated with rs11594656 (P = 3.87 × 10-7) and there is some evidence of association of rs41295061 with AAV (P = 0.0122), which both have prior association with T1D. rs2104286, an MS and T1D – associated SNP in the IL2RA locus, is not associated with either SLE or AAV.
We have confirmed a previous suggestion that the IL2RA locus is associated with SLE and showed some evidence of association with AAV. Soluble IL-2RA concentrations correlate with rs11594656 genotype in quiescent disease in both AAV and SLE. Differential association of autoimmune diseases and SNPs within the IL2RA locus suggests that the IL2RA pathway may prove to play differing, as yet undefined, roles in each disease.
The ANCA consensus prescribes screening by indirect immunofluorescence on neutrophils. We evaluated the first automated ANCA-pattern recognition system. C-ANCA (n = 39) and P-ANCA (n = 40) samples were selected from patients with ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV). Non-AAV controls included sera from healthy controls (n = 40), sera with possible interfering antibodies (n = 46), or miscellaneous ANCA reactivity (n = 31). ANCA slides were analysed by AKLIDES and routine fluorescence microscopy. The C-ANCA pattern was recognized by routine microscopy in 92% and 97% on ethanol- and formalin-fixed slides, respectively. AKLIDES reported C-ANCA in 74% and 95%, respectively. P-ANCA was recognized by routine microscopy on ethanol-fixed neutrophils in 90%, while AKLIDES reported P-ANCA in 80%. Typically, only 65% and 33% of these samples showed the expected C-ANCA on formalin-fixed neutrophils by routine microscopy and AKLIDES, respectively. A C- or P-ANCA pattern was observed on ethanol-fixed neutrophils in 28% and 23% of the controls by routine microscopy and AKLIDES, respectively. Only 5% of the controls revealed C-ANCA on formalin-fixed neutrophils by routine microscopy and AKLIDES. Altogether, automated ANCA-pattern recognition by AKLIDES is promising. Distinction of C- and P-ANCA is good, but sensitivity on ethanol-fixed neutrophils needs improvement. When optimized, pattern recognition software may play an important role in AAV diagnostics.
The clinical usefulness of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCAs) in the monitoring of patients treated for small vessel vasculitis is debated. A capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) based on anti-proteinase 3 (anti-PR3) monoclonal antibody 4A3 has previously been proven to be superior to indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) and standard ELISA for the diagnosis of vasculitis. The present study compared the effectiveness of the capture ELISA for the detection of disease relapse. Samples from patients with relapses and remissions (relapse and remission samples, respectively) were identified through the database of the Glomerular Disease Collaborate Network. Twenty-one relapse samples and 49 remission samples were analyzed by the capture PR3-ANCA ELISA from Wieslab AB, the standard PR3-ANCA ELISA from Inova, and IIF. A Medline search was performed to identify published data on ANCA status at relapse. The capture ELISA was positive for 21 instances of relapses in 14 patients, while the standard ELISA and IIF each failed to detect 2 relapses (P was not significant). By using a higher cutoff value, the capture ELISA correctly categorized 84% of the remission samples and 81% of the relapse samples. Similar degrees of discrimination could be achieved by IIF but not by the standard ELISA. In previously published series, the median proportions of patients positive at relapse were 100% by IIF (range, 75 to 100%) and 86% by standard ELISA (range, 38 to 100%). The corresponding values for a rise that accompanied or preceded a relapse were 75% (range, 20 to 100%) for IIF and 50% (range, 25 to 81%) for ELISA. The capture PR3-ANCA ELISA is a sensitive tool for the detection of relapses. Larger studies are needed to detect differences between methods. Negative results by tests for ANCAs are rare during relapses.
Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a proinflammatory cytokine known to be released from lymphocytes, macrophages and endothelial cells and also in animal models shown to be inducible with glucocorticoids (GC). In contrast, thyroxine seems to antagonize MIF activity. To investigate whether MIF is increased in active antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV) and possible correlations with GC dosing and thyroid hormone levels, 27 consecutive patients with active AAV were studied and followed prospectively. Disease activity was assessed using Birmingham Vasculitis Activity Score 2003 (BVAS) at baseline and at follow-up at 3 and 6 months, along with MIF, thyroid hormones free triiodothyronine (fT3) and free thyroxine (fT4), C-reactive protein (CRP) and creatinine. MIF was elevated significantly at baseline compared with follow-up at 3 and 6 months (8,618 pg/mL versus 5,696 and 6,212 respectively; P < 0.002) but did not correlate to CRP, GC dose, creatinine or organ involvement. fT3 was depressed significantly at baseline compared with follow-up (1.99 pg/mL versus 2.31 and 2.67 respectively; P = 0.01) and correlated inversely to the BVAS score at baseline. We found a significant correlation between the MIF/fT4 ratio at baseline versus MIF/fT4 ratio at 6 months (ρ = 0.52, P < 0.005) and a trend between the baseline MIF/fT3 ratio versus MIF/fT3 ratio at 6 months (ρ = 0.39, P = 0.05). These results suggest a possible role for MIF and thyroid status in AAV. Further studies could reveal whether the association between AAV and thyroid hormone levels in the context of elevated MIF may present a link as well as a target of treatment.
BACKGROUND: The "classical" antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (C-ANCA) pattern seen on indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) is characterised by granular cytoplasmic staining showing central or interlobular accentuation, and is strongly associated with antiproteinase-3 antibodies (PR3-ANCA) and Wegener's granulomatosis. However, many laboratories report C-ANCA in the presence of any cytoplasmic IIF staining, regardless of pattern, which risks reducing the diagnostic value of this pattern. AIMS: To classify different cytoplasmic ANCA patterns and thus determine whether stringent application of the classical criteria for C-ANCA would produce better correlation between C-ANCA and (1) PR3-ANCA enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) results; (2) a diagnosis of systemic vasculitis (including Wegener's granulomatosis). METHODS: 72 sera with cytoplasmic IIF collected over a two year period were analysed by IIF and a commercial PR3-ANCA ELISA kit. RESULTS: Three IIF patterns were defined: "classical/true" C-ANCA as described above (n = 27 (37.5%)); "flat" ANCA with homogeneous cytoplasmic staining (n = 21 (29%)); and "atypical" ANCA which included all other cytoplasmic patterns (n = 24 (33.5%)). Twenty five of the 27 true C-ANCA sera (92.5%) contained PR3-ANCA (p < 0.0001), but none of the 21 with flat ANCA and only one of the 24 with atypical ANCA. From clinical data on 23 of the 27 true C-ANCA positive patients, 20 (87%) had evidence of Wegener's granulomatosis or systemic vasculitis (p < 0.0001 v the other two patterns). However, none of 19 sera with flat ANCA and clinical data had evidence of systemic vasculitis. CONCLUSIONS: Restricting the term "c-ANCA" to the "classical" description of central/interlobular accentuation on IIF, will improve its correlation with PR3-ANCA positivity and a diagnosis of systemic vasculitis.
BACKGROUND: Bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein (BPI), a constituent of primary neutrophil granules, is a potent natural antibiotic and an antineutrophil cytoplasm antibody (ANCA) antigen in cases of vasculitis in which the target antigen is neither myeloperoxidase (MPO) nor proteinase-3 (PR3). AIM: To investigate BPI as a possible target antigen for ANCAs in inflammatory bowel disease. METHODS: ANCAs were detected by routine immunofluorescence (IIF) and solid phase enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) performed for antibodies to the purified neutrophil granule proteins; MPO, PR3, cathepsin-G, lactoferrin, and BPI in serum samples from 88 patients with inflammatory bowel disease (36 with Crohn's disease, 52 with ulcerative colitis). Thirty patients with bacterial enteritis acted as controls. RESULTS: Significantly more patients with ulcerative colitis were ANCA positive by IIF (60%) than patients with Crohn's disease (28%) or infectious enteritis (23%) (p < 0.001). IgG anti-BPI antibodies were present in 29% of patients with ulcerative colitis, 14% of patients with Crohn's disease, and 23% of patients with infectious enteritis, occurring in 44% of those patients with inflammatory bowel disease who were ANCA positive by IIF. Antibodies to other ANCA antigens were rare. The presence of ANCAs was not related to either disease activity or extent; presence of anti-BPI antibodies was significantly related to both a lower serum albumin concentration (p = 0.001) and a higher erythrocyte sedimentation rate (p = 0.02) in patients with ulcerative colitis, and to colonic involvement in patients with Crohn's disease (p = 0.01). CONCLUSION: BPI is a significant minority target antigen for ANCAs in inflammatory bowel disease that seems related to colonic Crohn's disease and disease activity in ulcerative colitis. Anti-BPI antibodies occur in infectious enteritis.
The detection rate of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) in Chinese patients with clinically suspected small vessel vasculitis was investigated, and their antigen specificity and demographic features were analyzed. A number of sera (n = 5,604) sent to our referral laboratory for ANCA screening were tested by indirect immunofluorescence (IIF), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) for myeloperoxidase (MPO)- and proteinase 3 (PR3)-ANCA. Then the IIF-ANCA-positive sera that were negative for MPO- and PR3-ANCA were further tested by antigen-specific ELISA by using other five highly purified known ANCA antigens as solid-phase ligands. The known antigens included bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein (BPI), human leukocyte elastase (HLE), lactoferrin, cathepsin G, and azurocidins. Of the 5,604 sera, 267 (4.76%) sera were IIF-ANCA positive and 390 (7%) were antinuclear antibody (ANA) positive in the IIF assay. Of the IIF-positive samples, 213 were anti-MPO positive, 32 were anti-PR3 positive, and five cases were positive for both. Of the 48 sera positive for IIF-ANCA but negative for MPO- and PR3-ANCA, 13 sera (27%) recognized other target antigens, 7 sera recognized BPI, 5 recognized HLE, 1 recognize cathepsin G, and 1 recognized azurocidin. None of the sera recognized lactoferrin, and one serum sample recognized both BPI and HLE. The majority of ANCA-positive patients presented in summer or winter. There was no difference in gender (male/female ratio, 1:1.12) in ANCA-positive patients with a mean age of 53.1 years. The male/female ratio was 1.17:1 for patients over 60 years of age; however, it was 1:4 for patients under 20 years of age. We conclude that ANCA-related diseases are not rare in China, and the major antigens are MPO and PR3. When the IIF technique is used to detect ANCA, ANA should be carefully distinguished.
The etiology of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) associated vasculitides (AAV) is unknown, but the association between infections and autoimmunity has been studied extensively. In 2004, a novel theory was proposed that could link infection and autoimmunity. This ‘theory of autoantigen complementarity’ was based on the serendipitous finding of antibodies against complementary-PR3 (cPR3) in patients with PR3-ANCA-associated vasculitis. cPR3 demonstrated homology to several bacterial proteins, and it was hypothesized that PR3-ANCA develop in response to anti-cPR3 antibodies, as a consequence of the anti-idiotypic network. These data have not been confirmed in other patient cohorts. We investigated the presence of anti-cPR3 antibodies in a Dutch cohort of PR3-ANCA-associated vasculitis patients. Anti-cPR3 reactivity was determined in serum using ELISA. Two separate batches of cPR3 were used to determine reactivity in two separate cohorts of PR3-ANCA-associated vasculitis patients. We found that anti-cPR3-reactivity was not increased in our PR3-ANCA-associated vasculitis patients, in comparison to control groups. Further research will be necessary to prove the concept of autoantigen complementarity in autoimmune diseases.
Antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies (ANCA) associated vasculitis (AAV) are a group of systemic vasculitis characterized by inflammation and necrosis of blood vessel walls. Genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors contribute to the etiology and pathogenesis of AAV. Based on currently available clinical and experimental evidence, it is reasonable to conceptualize that in predisposed patients, different triggers can lead to the production of autoantibodies (ANCA) that in the context of an inflammatory environment can cause tissue inflammation and vascular injury. Several different pathways and mechanisms in the pathogenesis of AAV are described in this contemporary review.
ANCA; ANCA-associated vasculitis; Granulomatosis with polyangiitis; Microscopic polyangiitis; Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis; Pathogenesis; Etiology
Increased numbers of neutrophils expressing proteinase 3 on their membrane (mPR3) have been reported in anti‐neutrophil cytoplasm antibody (ANCA)‐associated vasculitis (AAV) and are suggested to be involved in AAV immunopathogenesis. In most studies, neutrophils were analysed for mPR3 expression without priming with TNFα, suggesting that mPR3 expression on neutrophils is dependent on other priming events, such as isolation procedures . These priming events can be variable. Therefore, we analysed mPR3 expression on neutrophils before and after priming with TNFα to assess whether standardised assessment of mPR3 expression requires priming. Using neutrophils before and after priming with TNFα, we assessed percentages of mPR3+ neutrophils in patients with AAV and in disease and healthy controls.
Neutrophils from patients with PR3‐AAV and MPO‐AAV, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and from healthy controls were analysed before and after priming with TNFα for mPR3 expression.
42% of all individuals analysed showed minimal expression for mPR3 on all neutrophils before priming with TNFα, whereas after priming a clear mPR3+ subset was observed next to mPR3– neutrophils, corresponding to bimodal mPR3 expression. In patients with PR3‐AAV or MPO‐AAV, the percentage of mPR3+ neutrophils after priming with TNFα was significantly increased (p<0.01 and p<0.05, respectively) compared with healthy controls. Percentages of mPR3+ PMN were also increased in patients with SLE (p<0.01) but not in RA.
Standardised assessment of proteinase 3 on the membrane of neutrophils requires priming with TNFα. Percentages of mPR3+ PMN are increased in AAV and SLE, but not in RA.
proteinase 3; Wegener's granulomatosis; systemic lupus erythematosus; vasculitis; chronic inflammation