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1.  Advances in Systems Biology Approaches for Autoimmune Diseases 
Immune Network  2014;14(2):73-80.
Because autoimmune diseases (AIDs) result from a complex combination of genetic and epigenetic factors, as well as an altered immune response to endogenous or exogenous antigens, systems biology approaches have been widely applied. The use of multi-omics approaches, including blood transcriptomics, genomics, epigenetics, proteomics, and metabolomics, not only allow for the discovery of a number of biomarkers but also will provide new directions for further translational AIDs applications. Systems biology approaches rely on high-throughput techniques with data analysis platforms that leverage the assessment of genes, proteins, metabolites, and network analysis of complex biologic or pathways implicated in specific AID conditions. To facilitate the discovery of validated and qualified biomarkers, better-coordinated multi-omics approaches and standardized translational research, in combination with the skills of biologists, clinicians, engineers, and bioinformaticians, are required.
doi:10.4110/in.2014.14.2.73
PMCID: PMC4022781  PMID: 24851096
Autoimmune diseases; Systems biology; Multi-omics; Biomarker; Translational research; Network analysis
2.  The expression of the receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) in RA-FLS is induced by IL-17 via Act-1 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2011;13(4):R113.
Introduction
The receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of arthritis. We conducted this study to determine the effect of interleukin (IL)-17 on the expression and production of RAGE in fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The role of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activator 1 (Act1) in IL-17-induced RAGE expression in RA-FLS was also evaluated.
Methods
RAGE expression in synovial tissues was assessed by immunohistochemical staining. RAGE mRNA production was determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Act-1 short hairpin RNA (shRNA) was produced and treated to evaluate the role of Act-1 on RAGE production.
Results
RAGE, IL-17, and Act-1 expression increased in RA synovium compared to osteoarthritis synovium. RAGE expression and production increased by IL-17 and IL-1β (*P <0.05 vs. untreated cells) treatment but not by tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in RA-FLS. The combined stimuli of both IL-17 and IL-1β significantly increased RAGE production compared to a single stimulus with IL-17 or IL-1β alone (P <0.05 vs. 10 ng/ml IL-17). Act-1 shRNA added to the RA-FLS culture supernatant completely suppressed the enhanced production of RAGE induced by IL-17.
Conclusions
RAGE was overexpressed in RA synovial tissues, and RAGE production was stimulated by IL-17 and IL-1β. Act-1 contributed to the stimulatory effect of IL-17 on RAGE production, suggesting a possible inhibitory target for RA treatment.
doi:10.1186/ar3398
PMCID: PMC3239351  PMID: 21749686
3.  Induction of Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor in ConA-Stimulated Rheumatoid Arthritis Synovial Fibroblasts through the P38 MAP Kinase-Dependent Signaling Pathway 
Background/Aims
This study was undertaken to identify the intracellular signaling pathway involved in induction of macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) in human rheumatoid arthritis (RA) synovial fibroblasts.
Methods
Human RA synovial fibroblasts were treated with concanavalin A (ConA), various cytokines, and inhibitors of signal transduction molecules. The production of MIF by synovial fibroblasts was measured in culture supernatants by ELISA. The expression of MIF mRNA was determined using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and real-time PCR. Phosphorylation of p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase in synovial fibroblasts was confirmed using Western blotting. The expression of MIF and p38 MAP kinase in RA synovium was determined using dual immunohistochemistry.
Results
The production of MIF by RA synovial fibroblasts increased in a dose-dependent manner after ConA stimulation. MIF was also induced by interferon-γ, CD40 ligand, interleukin-15, interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α, and transforming growth factor-β. The production of MIF by RA synovial fibroblasts was significantly reduced after inhibition of p38 MAP kinase. The expression of MIF and p38 MAP kinase was upregulated in the RA synovium compared with the osteoarthritis synovium.
Conclusions
These results suggest that MIF production was induced through a p38 MAP-kinase-dependent pathway in RA synovial fibroblasts.
doi:10.3904/kjim.2010.25.3.317
PMCID: PMC2932946  PMID: 20830230
Macrophage, migration-inhibitory factors; Arthritis rheumatoid; Synovial fibroblast; p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases
4.  Macrophage Activation Syndrome in Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis Successfully Treated with Cyclosporine A : A Case Report 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2006;21(6):1124-1127.
Macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) is one of the serious complications of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) and recently, cyclosporine A has been found to be effective in patients with corticosteroid-resistant MAS. A 29-yr-old male was admitted with high fever and jaundice for one month. He was diagnosed as juvenile arthritis 16 yr ago. Physical and laboratory results showed hepatosplenomegaly, high fever, pancytopenia and impaired liver and renal function tests, elevated triglyceride and serum ferritin levels. Bone marrow biopsy showed hyperplasia of histiocytes with active hemophagocytosis. He was diagnosed as MAS associated with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and managed with high-dose corticosteroids initially, but clinical symptoms and laboratory findings did not improve immediately. Finally, he completely recovered after treatment with cyclosporine A (3 mg/kg/day).
doi:10.3346/jkms.2006.21.6.1124
PMCID: PMC2721943  PMID: 17179701
Macrophage activation syndrome; Arthritis, Juvenile Rheumatoid; Cyclosporine
5.  Intraabdominal Cryptococcal Lymphadenitis in a Patient with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2005;20(6):1059-1061.
Cryptococcal infection is a rare, yet well recognized complication of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We present a case of mesenteric and retroperitoneal cryptococcal lymphadenitis resulting in the obstruction of the stomach and proximal duodenum in a patient suffering from SLE, while recently she did not receive any immunosuppressive treatment. A 42-yr-old woman was admitted due to high fever and diffuse abdominal pain for three weeks. Abdominal computed tomography (CT) scan showed multiple conglomerated lymphadenopathies in the retroperitoneum and the mesentery resulting in luminal narrowing of the third portion of the duodenum. Cryptococcal lymphadenitis was proven by needle biopsy and she was treated with intravenous liposomal amphotericin B, followed by oral fluconazole. After fourteen-month antifungal therapies, the clinical symptoms and follow-up images improved. This case emphasize that the intrinsic immunological defects of SLE may be directly responsible for the predisposition to fungal infections.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2005.20.6.1059
PMCID: PMC2779309  PMID: 16361822
Mesenteric Lymphadenitis; Cryptococcus neoformans; Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic
6.  Increased interleukin-17 production via a phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt and nuclear factor κB-dependent pathway in patients with rheumatoid arthritis 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2004;7(1):R139-R148.
Inflammatory mediators have been recognized as being important in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Interleukin (IL)-17 is an important regulator of immune and inflammatory responses, including the induction of proinflammatory cytokines and osteoclastic bone resorption. Evidence for the expression and proinflammatory activity of IL-17 has been demonstrated in RA synovium and in animal models of RA. Although some cytokines (IL-15 and IL-23) have been reported to regulate IL-17 production, the intracellular signaling pathways that regulate IL-17 production remain unknown. In the present study, we investigated the role of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway in the regulation of IL-17 production in RA. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from patients with RA (n = 24) were separated, then stimulated with various agents including anti-CD3, anti-CD28, phytohemagglutinin (PHA) and several inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. IL-17 levels were determined by sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction. The production of IL-17 was significantly increased in cells treated with anti-CD3 antibody with or without anti-CD28 and PHA (P < 0.05). Among tested cytokines and chemokines, IL-15, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and IL-6 upregulated IL-17 production (P < 0.05), whereas tumor necrosis factor-α, IL-1β, IL-18 or transforming growth factor-β did not. IL-17 was also detected in the PBMC of patients with osteoarthritis, but their expression levels were much lower than those of RA PBMC. Anti-CD3 antibody activated the PI3K/Akt pathway; activation of this pathway resulted in a pronounced augmentation of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) DNA-binding activity. IL-17 production by activated RA PBMC is completely or partly blocked in the presence of the NF-κB inhibitor pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate and the PI3K/Akt inhibitor wortmannin and LY294002, respectively. However, inhibition of activator protein-1 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 did not affect IL-17 production. These results suggest that signal transduction pathways dependent on PI3K/Akt and NF-κB are involved in the overproduction of the key inflammatory cytokine IL-17 in RA.
doi:10.1186/ar1470
PMCID: PMC1064895  PMID: 15642134
interleukin-17; nuclear factor κB; PI3K/Akt pathway; peripheral blood mononuclear cells; rheumatoid arthritis
7.  Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus have abnormally elevated Epstein–Barr virus load in blood 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2004;6(4):R295-R302.
Various genetic and environmental factors appear to be involved in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) is among the environmental factors that are suspected of predisposing to SLE, based on the characteristics of EBV itself and on sequence homologies between autoantigens and EBV antigens. In addition, higher titers of anti-EBV antibodies and increased EBV seroconversion rates have been observed in SLE patients as compared with healthy control individuals. Serologic responses do not directly reflect EBV status within the body. Clarification of the precise status of EBV infection in SLE patients would help to improve our understanding of the role played by EBV in this disease. In the present study we determined EBV types in SLE patients (n = 66) and normal control individual (n = 63) by direct PCR analysis of mouthwash samples. We also compared EBV load in blood between SLE patients (n = 24) and healthy control individuals (n = 29) using semiquantitative PCR assay. The number of infections and EBV type distribution were similar between adult SLE patients and healthy control individuals (98.5% versus 94%). Interestingly, the EBV burden in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was over 15-fold greater in SLE patients than in healthy control individuals (mean ± standard deviation: 463 ± 570 EBV genome copies/3 μg PBMC DNA versus 30 ± 29 EBV genome copies/3 μg PBMC DNA; P = 0.001), suggesting that EBV infection is abnormally regulated in SLE. The abnormally increased proportion of EBV-infected B cells in the SLE patients may contribute to enhanced autoantibody production in this disease.
doi:10.1186/ar1181
PMCID: PMC464871  PMID: 15225364
Epstein–Barr virus; Epstein–Barr virus type; systemic lupus erythematosus; virus burden

Results 1-7 (7)