Johanna Westra

Learn More
INTRODUCTION High Mobility Group Box 1 (HMGB1) is a nuclear non-histone protein. HMGB1, which is secreted by inflammatory cells and passively released from apoptotic and necrotic cells, may act as a pro-inflammatory mediator. As apoptotic cells accumulate in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), HMGB1 levels might be increased in SLE. HMGB1 may also serve as(More)
INTRODUCTION The association between rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and periodontitis is suggested to be linked to the periodontal pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis. Colonization of P. gingivalis in the oral cavity of RA patients has been scarcely considered. To further explore whether the association between periodontitis and RA is dependent on P. gingivalis,(More)
OBJECTIVE For patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), yearly influenza vaccination is recommended. However, its efficacy in patients treated with rituximab is unknown. The objectives of this study were to investigate the efficacy of influenza vaccination in RA patients treated with rituximab and to investigate the duration of the possible suppression of(More)
The significance of IgM, IgA and IgG rheumatoid factors (RF) for the prediction of radiological progression, and as process variables during follow-up, was evaluated in a three-year prospective study of 149 patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (symptoms < 1 year at study entry). The occurrence of IgA-RF and IgG-RF at study entry without simultaneous(More)
BACKGROUND In sepsis and various other inflammatory conditions, elevated circulating levels of angiopoietin-2 (Ang2) are detected, but the precise functional role of Ang2 in these conditions is not well understood. Here, we investigated the contribution of Ang2 to the inflammatory response and renal function impairment in a mouse model of endotoxaemia. (More)
OBJECTIVE To evaluate serum matrix metalloproteinase 3 (MMP-3) levels in comparison to C-reactive protein (CRP) in periods with and without progression of radiological damage in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS Thirty-two patients with RA and radiological progression (> or = 5 points according to the Sharp/van der Heijde method)(More)
OBJECTIVE To analyze the clinical significance of serial measurements of serum matrix metalloproteinase 3 (MMP-3) levels in relation to markers of disease activity and radiological progression in early rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS In a 3 year prospective study of 33 patients with early RA (symptoms < 1 year at entry) monthly measurements of serum(More)
INTRODUCTION Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease accompanied by a disturbed T-cell balance skewed towards effector T-cells, in particular Th17-cells. The novel cytokine interleukin-21 (IL-21) is suggested to be crucial for triggering T-cell responses towards IL-17 producing cells. Thus, we aimed to investigate the ability of T-cells(More)
OBJECTIVE To investigate whether serum levels of endothelial cell activation markers in early RA patients can serve as biomarkers for inflammation and disease activity, and are associated with radiological progression and development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). METHODS Serum levels of VEGF, soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule (sVCAM)-1 and(More)
Systemic autoimmune diseases are associated with inflammation, and oxidative stress favouring the formation of advanced glycation endproducts (AGE), able to modulate cellular functions by activation of receptor for advanced glycation endproducts (RAGE). As RAGE expression is increased in an inflammatory milieu, present in patients with systemic autoimmune(More)