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Mathematical modeling in autoimmune diseases: from theory to clinical application

Yaroslav Ugolkov, Antonina Nikitich, Cristina Leon,Gabriel Helmlinger, Kirill Peskov, Victor Sokolov, Alina Volkova, Front. Immunol. 2024, 15:1371620.doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2024.1371620

The research & development (R&D) of novel therapeutic agents for the treatment of autoimmune diseases is challenged by highly complex pathogenesis and multiple etiologies of these conditions. The number of targeted therapies available on the market is limited, whereas the prevalence of autoimmune conditions in the global population continues to rise. Mathematical modeling of biological systems is an essential tool which may be applied in support of decision-making across R&D drug programs to improve the probability of success in the development of novel medicines. Over the past decades, multiple models of autoimmune diseases have been developed. Models differ in the spectra of quantitative data used in their development and mathematical methods, as well as in the level of “mechanistic granularity” chosen to describe the underlying biology. Yet, all models strive towards the same goal: to quantitatively describe various aspects of the immune response. The aim of this review was to conduct a systematic review and analysis of mathematical models of autoimmune diseases focused on the mechanistic description of the immune system, to consolidate existing quantitative knowledge on autoimmune processes, and to outline potential directions of interest for future model-based analyses. Following a systematic literature review, 38 models describing the onset, progression, and/or the effect of treatment in 13 systemic and organ-specific autoimmune conditions were identified, most models developed for inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, and lupus (5 models each). ≥70% of the models were developed as nonlinear systems of ordinary differential equations, others – as partial differential equations, integro-differential equations, Boolean networks, or probabilistic models. Despite covering a relatively wide range of diseases, most models described the same components of the immune system, such as T-cell response, cytokine influence, or the involvement of macrophages in autoimmune processes. All models were thoroughly analyzed with an emphasis on assumptions, limitations, and their potential applications in the development of novel medicines.

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Dendritic cells: the yin and yang in disease progression

Jiménez-Cortegana Carlos , Palomares Francisca , Alba Gonzalo, Santa-María Consuelo , de la Cruz-Merino Luis , Sánchez-Margalet Victor , López-Enríquez Soledad Frontiers in Immunology 14,2024,

Dendritic cells (DCs) are antigen presenting cells that link innate and adaptive immunity. DCs have been historically considered as the most effective and potent cell population to capture, process and present antigens to activate naïve T cells and originate favorable immune responses in many diseases, such as cancer. However, in the last decades, it has been observed that DCs not only promote beneficial responses, but also drive the initiation and progression of some pathologies, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In line with those notions, different therapeutic approaches have been tested to enhance or impair the concentration and role of the different DC subsets. The blockade of inhibitory pathways to promote DCs or DC-based vaccines have been successfully assessed in cancer, whereas the targeting of DCs to inhibit their functionality has proved to be favorable in IBD. In this review, we (a) described the general role of DCs, (b) explained the DC subsets and their role in immunogenicity, (c) analyzed the role of DCs in cancer and therapeutic approaches to promote immunogenic DCs and (d) analyzed the role of DCs in IBD and therapeutic approaches to reduced DC-induced inflammation. Therefore, we aimed to highlight the “yin-yang” role of DCs to improve the understand of this type of cells in disease progression.

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Tu1846 Higher TNFα and Mip-1β Expression in Pretreatment Colonic Mucosa Have Potential to Predict of Achieving Mucosal Healing by Granulocyte and Monocyte Adsorptive Apheresis Therapy in Ulcerative Colitis Patients

Chie Kurihara, Toshihide Ohmori, Hirotaka Furuhashi, Kenichi Inaba, Nao Sugihara, Yoshinori Hanawa, Gastroenterology 2019 156 (6) Suppl. S-1146

Background: Granulocyte and monocyte adsorptive apheresis (GMA) is non-pharmacological therapy which selective depletion of activated granulocytes and monocytes/macrophages from peripheral blood. GMA is effective and safe as induction therapy in ulcerative colitis (UC) of moderate to severe patients, and commonly used in Asia and north Europe. However, therapeutic mechanism of GMA, especially its effect on mucosal healing, has not been well characterized. Since moderate to severe patients with UC sometimes become fulminant, it is important to select an appropriate induction therapy. GMA treatment efficacy is reported about 60% patients respond, whereas, there is not useful parameter that predicts GMA therapeutic efficacy before treatment. In this study, we attempted to identify predictive factors of clinical response to GMA treatment in UC patients. Methods: Thirty-two active UC patients (Mayo score ^ 5 and Mayo endoscopic score ^ 2) and 10 non-IBD control subjects were enrolled in this study. All UC patients received 10 or 11 times of GMA, and colonoscopies were applied before the first GMA and after the last GMA. Control subjects underwent colonoscopies for screening of colon cancer. Assessment of disease activity and colonic mucosal healing were determined based on Mayo score. Inflammation-related molecules mRNA expressions were determined by quantitative RT-PCR using biopsy specimen of colonic mucosa. ROC curves analysis was used to assess sensitivity and specificity in prediction of GMA therapeutic efficacy. Results: GMA treatment efficacy is 11 patients (34.4%) achieved clinical remission, 17 patients (53.1%) were response and 4 patients (12.5%) were non-response. Mucosal healing was observed in 18 patients (56.3%) and it was not observed in 14 patients (43.7%). Baseline characteristics were not significantly different according to GMA efficacy. Before the first GMA session, the clinical remission group showed significantly higher expressions of TNFα, MAdCAM-1 and MIP-1β mRNA than those of the non-response group (P <0.05). Patients in the response group who highly expressed these mRNA achieved mucosal healing. In the mucosal healing group, the mRNA levels of TNFα, IL-1β, IL-8, MIP-1β, TGFβ and IL-10 were significantly higher than those in the non-mucosal healing group (P <0.05). TNFα and MIP-1β had 0.83 and 0.79 of area under the curve with 83.3% and 66.7% sensitivity, 71.4% and 100% specificity, 78.9% and 100%positive predictive value, and 76.9% and 70.0% negative predictive value, respectively, for prediction of mucosal healing. Conclusion: Mucosal expression of TNFα and MIP-1β mRNA before treatment in the remission group and the mucosal healing group was significantly higher than non-responder to GMA treatment. We propose that measuring of these molecules’ expression is useful to expect GMA therapeutic efficacy in patients with UC.

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Relationship Between Tumor Necrosis Factor-α Release and Granulocyte and Monocyte Adsorption to Cellulose Acetate Beads

Shoichi Nishise 1Yasuhiko AbeEiki NomuraTakeshi SatoYu SasakiDaisuke IwanoKazuya YoshizawaMakoto YagiYuko NishiseYoshiyuki Ueno, Ther Apher Dial. 2014 Jun;18(3):252-7.

umor necrosis factor-α, (TNF)-α, a proinflammatory cytokine, is produced by activated granulocytes and monocytes (GMs) and implicated as a major factor in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) pathogenesis. Reduction of TNF-α should improve IBD pathology. GM adsorptive apheresis (GMA) is an effective therapy for inflammatory disorders including IBD. GM adsorption to cellulose acetate (CA) beads induces anti-inflammatory cytokine release, although these effects on TNF-α release are not clarified. We hypothesized that GMA may inhibit TNF-α release. The aim of the present study was to clarify the effects of GM adsorption to CA beads on TNF-α release in vitro. Peripheral blood was incubated with and without CA beads and TNF-α was measured. For comparison, TNF-α was measured in another lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-containing peripheral blood sample incubated similarly. The amount of TNF-α in blood samples incubated with CA beads was significantly higher than in those incubated without beads, although it was significantly lower than TNF-α incubated with LPS-containing sample without beads. The amount of TNF-α after incubation with CA beads positively correlated with GM adsorption ratio. GM adsorption to CA beads induced a small amount of TNF-α release. This is the first report on TNF-α release induced via GM adsorption stimuli. The biological effects of TNF-α release during GM adsorption need to be clarified.

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Sa1316 Granulocyte and Monocyte Adsorptive Apheresis (GMA) Might Be Useful for Patients With Ulcerative Colitis by Inhibition of S100A12-S100a12 Correlates With Acute and Chronic Inflammation by Induction of CCL and CXCL Chemokines

Shingo Kato, Kazuhito Kani, Hidehiko Takabayashi, Ryuichi Yamamoto, Koji Yakabi Gastroenterology 2011 140(5) Suppl. S-279–S-280

Backgrounds&Aims; Granulocyte and monocyte adsorptive apheresis (GMA) adsorbs mainly granulocyte and monocytes, as well as Leukocyteapheresis (LMA) filters many cells such as granulocyte, monocytes, lymphocytes and platelets. However, there was no significant difference in clinical effectiveness between GMA and LMA (Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2008;20:629). We hypothesized effectiveness of GMA and LMA might be dependent on depletion of granulocyte and monocytes. S100A12 was reported to be exclusively expressed in neutrophils and up-regulated by TNF α. The aim of this study was to investigate the changes of serum S100 A12 concentration in the GMA treatments and whether S100A12 increases the expression of adhesion molecules, CXCL and CCL chemokines. Methods; 24 patients with ulcerative colitis were treated with GMA. Serum S100A12 was estimated by ELISAmethods.Clinicalactivityindex(CAI)andserumCRPconcentrationwerealsochecked. Immunohistochemical staining of S100A12 and receptor for advanced glication end products (RAGE) were performed in the operated specimens of patients with ulcerative colitis and with colonic carcinoma (control). HUVEC were seeded into 12 well plates and confluent plates were used to experiments. Each experiment was performed in triplicate. HUVEC were treated with human recombinant S100A12 protein. RNA was extracted by RNeasy Mini Kit. 1.5μg RNA was reverse-transcriptated into cDNA. ICAM-1, VCAM-1, IL-8, CCL-2 (MCP1), CCL5 (RANTES), CXCL9 (IP-10) and CXCL10 (Mig) mRNA was quantitated by realtime PCR. Results; S100A12 staining was faintly recognized in the mucosal layer of normal control. S100A12 staining was increased in infiltrating cells in inflamed colon in patients with ulcerative colitis. Strong staining was also recognized in crypt abscess. RAGE staining was also faintly recognized in the epithelial cells in nornmal control. However, RAGE staining was increased in the inflamed epithelial cells. Significantly serum S100A12 concentration was positively correlated with CAI (n=34, p=0.02, rs=0.404). 16 patients were able to estimate S100A12 concentration in the points of pre-and post-GMA treatment. 13 patients wereGMA-respondersand3patientswere nonGMA-responders.SerumS100A12concentration was significantly decreased in GMA responders (pre-vs post-GMA, 1.34±1.08 vs 0.60±0.50, p<0.05). However, Serum S100A12 concentration of non GMA-responders was gradually increased with GMA treatments. ICAM-1, VCAM-1, IL-8, IP-10, Mig, MCP-1 and RANTES mRNA expressions were increased by S100A12 in HUVEC cell lines in time and dose-dependent manners. Conclusion; one of the mechanisms of GMA effect might be correlated with depletion of S100A12 by adsorption of activated neutrophils. S100A12 might aggravate acute and chronic inflammation by up-regulation of adhesion molecules, CXCL and CCL chemokines.

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Current and emerging drugs for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease

John K TriantafillidisEmmanuel Merikas, and Filippos Georgopoulos Drug Des Devel Ther. 2011; 5: 185–210. doi: 10.2147/DDDT.S11290

During the last decade a large number of biological agents against tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), as well as many biochemical substances and molecules specifically for the medical treatment of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), have been developed. This enormous progress was a consequence of the significant advances in biotechnology along with the increased knowledge of the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of IBD. However, conventional therapies remain the cornerstone of treatment for most patients. During recent years conventional and biologic IBD therapies have been optimized. Newer mesalazine formulations with a reduced pill size and only one dose per day demonstrate similar efficacy to older formulations. New corticosteroids retain the efficacy of older corticosteroids while exhibiting a higher safety profile. The role of antibiotics and probiotics has been further clarified. Significant progress in understanding thiopurine metabolism has improved the effective dose along with adjunctive therapies. Quite a large number of substances and therapies, including biologic agents other than TNF-α inhibitors, unfractionated or low-molecular-weight heparin, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, microbes and microbial products, leukocytapheresis, and other substances under investigation, could offer important benefits to our patients. In this paper we review the established and emerging therapeutic strategies in patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

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Suppression of Inflammatory Cytokine Secretion by Granulocyte/Monocyte Adsorptive Apheresis in Active Ulcerative Colitis

Akira Andoh,Tomoyuki Tsujikawa,Osamu Inatomi,Yasuyuki Deguchi,Kazunori Hata,Katsuyuki Kitoh,Masaya Sasaki,Keiichi Mitsuyama,Yoshihide Fujiyama Therap Apher Dial(2005) 9, 2; 23-127,

To elucidate the molecular mechanisms involved in the therapeutic effects of granulocyte/monocyte adsorption apheresis, changes were investigated in the cytokine responses of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) before and after granulocyte/monocyte adsorptive apheresis in ulcerative colitis (UC) patients. Four patients with active UC were enrolled. All patients responded to granulocyte/monocyte adsorptive apheresis. A total of 20 sessions of four patients were analyzed. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated from peripheral venous blood within 5min before and after each session of granulocyte/monocyte adsorptive apheresis. The cells were stimulated with interleukin (IL)-1β and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α for 24h, and the secreted IL-8 and IL-6 levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). IL-1β-induced IL-8 and IL-6 secretion was significantly decreased after granulocyte/monocyte adsorptive apheresis. TNF-α-induced IL-8 secretion was also significantly decreased after apheresis, but there was no significant difference in TNF-α-induced IL-6 secretion (P = 0.052). In conclusion, granulocyte/monocyte adsorptive apheresis down-regulates the IL-1β- and TNF-α-induced inflammatory responses in PBMC. The induction of hyporesponsiveness to pro-inflammatory cytokines may be an important factor mediating the clinical effects of granulocyte/macrophage adsorptive apheresis in UC patients.

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Effect of granulocyte and monocyte adsorption apheresis on urinary albumin excretion and plasma endothelin-1 concentration in patients with active ulcerative colitis

Tsukasa Nakamura 1Yasuhiko KawagoeTakaharu MatsudaAkiko UedaYoshihiko UedaYutaka TakahashiAraki TanakaHikaru Koide Blood Purif  2004;22(6):499-504. doi: 10.1159/000081896. 

Background/aim: Increases in microalbuminuria and endothelin (ET-1) are involved in the development of ulcerative colitis (UC) and in its progress. Because granulocyte and monocyte adsorption apheresis has proven to be useful in the treatment of UC, we examined whether urinary albumin excretion and plasma ET-1 concentrations are altered and whether granulocyte and monocyte adsorption apheresis affects the concentrations of these two factors in patients with active UC. Methods: Twenty patients with active UC and 20 age-matched healthy volunteers (our hospital staffs) were included in this study. UC patients were randomly divided into two treatment groups: a granulocyte and monocyte adsorption treatment group (n = 10) and a conventional treatment group (n = 10). The urine albumin/creatinine ratio, plasma ET-1 concentration and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha were determined before and after treatment and compared between 2 treatment groups. The 10 adsorption treatment patients underwent 5 consecutive weekly apheresis sessions, each of 60 min duration at a flow rate of 30 ml/min. Results: The urine albumin/creatinine ratio in UC patients (6.4 +/- 2.2 mg/mmol) were higher than that in healthy subjects (1.0 +/- 0.7 mg/mmol, p < 0.01). In addition, the plasma ET-1 level in UC patients (3.5 +/-1.5 pg/ml) was higher than that in healthy subjects (0.8 +/- 0.4 pg/ml, p < 0.01). Plasma TNF-alpha was detected in UC patients (18.8 +/- 8.4 pg/ml), but not in healthy subjects. The urine albumin/creatinine ratio was highly correlated with the plasma ET-1 level (r = 0.62; p < 0.01) and plasma TNF-a level (r = 0.66, p < 0.01). Granulocyte and monocyte adsorption apheresis reduced the urine albumin/ creatinine ratio from 6.6 +/- 2.4 to 1.8 +/- 0.6 mg/mmol (p < 0.01), reduced the plasma ET-1 level from 3.7 +/- 1.6 to 1.4 +/- 0.6 pg/ml (p < 0.05) and reduced the plasma TNF-alpha from 19.2 +/- 8.6 to 3.8 +/- 1.2 pg/ml (p < 0.01). Conventional treatment did not affect these factors. Conclusion: Our data suggest that increases in the urine albumin/creatinine ratio, ET-1 and TNF-alpha play an important role in active UC and that granulocyte and monocyte adsorption apheresis is effective in ameliorating such increases.

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Anti-inflammatory effect of granulocyte and monocyte adsorption apheresis in a rabbit model of immune arthritis

Nobuhito Kashiwagi 1Minoru NakanoAbby R SaniabadiMasakazu AdachiToshikazu Yoshikawa

Inflammation 2002 Aug;26(4):199-205. doi: 10.1023/a:1016523914161.

In active rheumatoid arthritis, large numbers of granulocytes and macrophages are found in the inflamed joints. These leucocytes can promote inflammation and tissue injury by releasing inflammatory cytokines, proteinases and oxygen derivatives. To see if granulocyte and monocyte (GM) depletion produces anti-inflammatory effect, GM adsorption apheresis was performed in rabbits with immune arthritis by using a column (Adacolumn) filled with cellulose diacetate beads (G-1 beads) as adsorptive carriers which selectively adsorb CD11b positive GMs. Injection of ovalbumin into the knee joints of ovalbumin-sensitized rabbits caused a marked increase in peripheral blood leucocytes, joint swelling, increased granulocyte adhesion to G-1 beads and elevated TNF-alpha production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). When rabbits received a 60 min adsorption apheresis, there was suppression of CD11b positive leucocyte infiltration into the joint and reduced joint swelling (P < 0.01) compared with controls. Additionally, there was a significant (p < 0.01) suppression of TNF-alpha production by PBMC in the post column blood. These results suggest that GM depletion may serve as a non-pharmacological strategy to modify inflammatory disorders.

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