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INTRODUCTION Both experimental and clinical data provide evidence that vitamin D is one of those important environmental factors that can increase the prevalence of certain autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, and inflammatory bowel disease. The aim of the present study was to(More)
OBJECTIVES The aim of this study was to evaluate a wide spectrum of peripheral immune-competent cell types, reflecting overall disturbances in immune homeostasis, characteristic of systemic sclerosis (SSc). We also assessed visceral organ involvement and evaluated the relationship between cell proportions and clinical symptoms of the disease. METHODS(More)
BACKGROUND The autoimmune subclass of chronic idiopathic urticaria (CU) has been characterized by the occurrence of biologically relevant IgG antibodies against the IgE molecule or the alpha chain of the high-affinity Fcepsilon receptor (FcepsilonRIalpha) on basophils and mast cells. These antibodies are usually detected by autologous serum skin testing and(More)
BACKGROUND Antibodies directed to the alpha subunit of the high affinity IgE receptor and the IgE molecule are proposed to be of pathogenetic relevance in a group of patients with chronic urticaria (CU). The diagnosis of autoimmune chronic urticaria (ACU) is difficult; the autologous serum skin test (ASST) seems to be a useful screening test, but reliable,(More)
OBJECTIVE To investigate whether a change in the CD95-related apoptosis of T lymphocytes might have a share in the development of the disease in patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome (SS). METHODS Two-color cytometric analysis was used to study the phenotype of freshly separated mononuclear cells, while Western blotting was used to detect CD95 ligand(More)
BACKGROUND Elevated circulating levels of the vasoactive peptide endothelin-1 have been reported in various cardiovascular disorders. Because these conditions are frequently associated with endothelial dysfunction and damage and the vasoconstrictor effect of endothelin-1 is believed to be produced at the local vascular level, it is uncertain whether(More)
BACKGROUND The irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional bowel disorder characterized by symptoms of abdominal pain that is associated with disturbed defecation. Crohn's disease (CD) and Ulcerative colitis (UC) are collectively referred to as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). IBD appears to result from dysregulated immune response with contributions(More)
OBJECTIVE The aim of the present study was to investigate the immunomodulating role of fat-soluble vitamins in 25 patients with primary SS (pSS) and 15 healthy individuals. METHODS Plasma levels of vitamins A, D and E were determined by HPLC. Peripheral NK, NK T cells, T-cell subsets, B cells, IL-10 producing Tr1 cells, CD4(+)CD25(+) Treg cells and Th17(More)
The aim of this study was to investigate the possible role of follicular helper T (TFH) cells in the pathogenesis of primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS) by analyzing immune-competent cells and serological markers with special emphasis on clinical symptoms. We enrolled 50 pSS patients and 16 healthy individuals in the study. Patients had elevated ratio of(More)
Vitamin D deficiency may contribute to pathological changes in the number and function of CD4+ T helper cell subsets (CD4+Th1, CD4+Th17, CD4+CD25(bright)Foxp3-natural regulatory T cells-nTreg) in patients with undifferentiated connective tissue disease (UCTD). The aim of the present study was to evaluate, whether alfacalcidol could restore immune-regulatory(More)