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1.  Acquired Hemophilia A: A Frequently Overlooked Autoimmune Hemorrhagic Disorder 
Journal of Immunology Research  2014;2014:320674.
Acquired hemophilia A (AHA) is a rare hemorrhagic disease in which autoantibodies against coagulation factor VIII- (FVIII-) neutralizing antibodies (inhibitors) impair the intrinsic coagulation system. As the inhibitors developed in AHA are autoantibodies, the disease may have an autoimmune cause and is often associated with autoimmune disease. Although acute hemorrhage associated with AHA may be fatal and is costly to treat, AHA is often unrecognized or misdiagnosed. AHA should thus be considered in the differential diagnosis particularly in postpartum women and the elderly with bleeding tendency or prolonged activated partial thromboplastin time. Cross-mixing tests and measurement of FVIII-binding antibodies are useful to confirm AHA diagnosis. For treatment of acute hemorrhage, hemostatic therapy with bypassing agents should be provided. Unlike in congenital hemophilia A with inhibitors, in which immune tolerance induction therapy using repetitive infusions of high-dose FVIII concentrates is effective for inhibitor eradication, immune tolerance induction therapy has shown poor efficacy in treating AHA. Immunosuppressive treatment should thus be initiated to eradicate inhibitors as soon as the diagnosis of AHA is confirmed.
doi:10.1155/2014/320674
PMCID: PMC3987878  PMID: 24741588
2.  Repression of Factor VIII Inhibitor Development with Apoptotic Factor VIII-expressing Embryonic Stem Cells 
Hematology Reports  2013;5(2):30-33.
Development of factor VIII (fVIII)-neutralizing antibodies, called inhibitors, is a challenging problem in the management of hemophilia A patients. We explored the possibility of pretreatment with apoptotic fVIII-expressing embryonic stem (ES) cells to prevent the development of fVIII inhibitors. Murine ES cells integrated with the human F8 gene were differentiated into embryoid bodies, dissociated to a single cell suspension, subjected to hypo-osmotic shock to induce apoptosis, and intraperitoneally injected into hemophilia A mice. Inhibitors were induced by periodic intraperitoneal injections of recombinant human fVIII (rhfVIII). In the groups in which intraperitoneal injections of rhfVIII began at 1-3 weeks after pretreatment, the titers of inhibitors were significantly lower after the third administration of rhfVIII compared with that in the control group in which apoptotic Ainv18 ES cells (without the human F8 gene) were used for pretreatment, and continued to show lower levels until the sixth administration of rhfVIII. These results suggest that pretreatment with apoptotic hfVIII-expressing ES cells might be promising for the prevention of fVIII inhibitor development in hemophilia A patients.
doi:10.4081/hr.2013.e9
PMCID: PMC3719103  PMID: 23888245
hemophilia; fVIII inhibitors; prevention; embryonic stem cells; apoptosis
3.  Early-Onset Chronic Inflammatory Disease Associated with Maternal Microchimerism 
Case Reports in Pediatrics  2012;2012:323681.
Maternal microchimerism (mMc) refers to the presence of a small population of cells originating from the mother. Whether mMc leads to autoimmune responses in children remains controversial. We describe here an 11-year-old boy with persistent fever and elevated levels of C-reactive protein from infancy onward. During infancy, the patient presented with high fever, skin rashes, and hepatic dysfunction. Careful examination including a liver biopsy failed to reveal the cause. At 4 years old, petechiae developed associated with thrombocytopenia and positive anti-dsDNA autoantibodies. Steroid pulse therapy was effective, but the effect of low-dose prednisone was insufficient. At age 9, an extensive differential diagnosis was considered especially for infantile onset autoinflammatory disorders but failed to make a definitive diagnosis. On admission, the patient exhibited short stature, hepatosplenomegaly, generalized superficial lymphadenopathy, and rashes. Laboratory findings revealed anemia, elevated levels of inflammation markers, and hypergammaglobulinemia. Serum complement levels were normal. Serum levels of IL-6 and B-cell activating factor were elevated. Viral infections were not identified. Although HLA typing revealed no noninherited maternal antigens in lymphocytes, female cells were demonstrated in the patient's skin and lymph nodes, suggesting that maternal microchimerism might be involved in the pathogenesis of fever without source in infants.
doi:10.1155/2012/323681
PMCID: PMC3423865  PMID: 22924145
4.  Analog peptides of type II collagen can suppress arthritis in HLA-DR4 (DRB1*0401) transgenic mice 
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease associated with the recognition of self proteins secluded in diarthrodial joints. We have previously established that mice transgenic for the human DR genes associated with RA are susceptible to collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) and we have identified a determinant of type II collagen (CII263–270) that triggers T-cell immune responses in these mice. We have also determined that an analog of CII263–270 would suppress disease in DR1 transgenic mice. Because the immunodominant determinant is the same for both DR1 transgenic and DR4 transgenic mice, we attempted to determine whether the analog peptide that was suppressive in DR1 transgenic mice would also be effective in suppressing CIA in DR4 transgenic mice. We treated DR4 transgenic mice with two analog peptides of CII that contained substitutions in the core of the immunodominant determinant: CII256–276 (F263N, E266D) and CII256–270 (F263N, E266A). Mice were observed for CIA, and T-cell proliferative responses were determined. Either peptide administered at the time of immunization with CII significantly downregulated arthritis. Binding studies demonstrated that replacement of the phenylalanine residue in position 263 of the CII peptide with asparagine significantly decreased the affinity of the peptide for the DR4 molecule. In contrast, replacement of the glutamic acid residue in position 266 with aspartic acid or with alanine had differing results. Aspartic acid reduced the affinity (35-fold) whereas alanine did not. Both peptides were capable of suppressing CIA. With the use of either peptide, CII256–276 (F263N, E266D) or CII256–270 (F263N, E266A), the modulation of CIA was associated with an increase in T-cell secretion of IL-4 together with a decrease in IFN-γ. We have identified two analog peptides that are potent suppressors of CIA in DR4 transgenic mice. These experiments represent the first description of an analog peptide of CII recognized by T cells in the context of HLA-DR4 that can suppress autoimmune arthritis.
doi:10.1186/ar2043
PMCID: PMC1779432  PMID: 16982003

Results 1-4 (4)