Ulrich Specks

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Antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies (ANCAs) recognizing human proteinase 3 of neutrophil granules are a diagnostic hallmark of Wegener granulomatosis, an autoimmune systemic vasculitis with predilection for the respiratory tract and kidneys. In vitro experiments have implicated several mechanisms by which ANCAs may lead to tissue injury. However,(More)
A variety of melanoma antigen A (MAGE-A) genes are commonly detected in non-small cell lung cancers. Their biological function is not well characterized but may involve the regulation of apoptosis and cell cycle progression. We hypothesized that MAGE-A4 is involved in the regulation of apoptosis. To investigate this, expression of MAGE-A was evaluated.(More)
OBJECTIVE To identify serum ion patterns that distinguish remission from active disease in patients with Wegener's granulomatosis (WG). METHODS Using sera collected in the WG Etanercept Trial, we selected samples from patients who either were undergoing a period of extended disease remission or had recent flares of active WG. Unfractionated samples were(More)
OBJECTIVE CD5+ B cells have been conceptualized as a possible surrogate for Breg cells. The aim of the present study was to determine the utility of CD5+ B cells as biomarkers in antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis (AAV). METHODS The absolute and relative numbers (percentages) of CD5+ B cells (explanatory variables) were measured(More)
INTRODUCTION Previous studies suggest a role for eotaxin-3, TARC/CCL17 and IgG4 in newly-diagnosed patients with eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA, Churg-Strauss) with highly active disease. The role of these biomarkers in relapsing disease is unclear. METHODS Serum levels of TARC/CCL17, eotaxin-3, IgG4, and IgG4/IgG ratio were(More)
The endothelial-specific Angiopoietin-Tie2 ligand-receptor system is an important regulator of endothelial activation. Binding of angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) to Tie2 receptor renders the endothelial barrier responsive to pro-inflammatory cytokines. We previously showed that circulating Ang-2 correlated with disease severity in a small cohort of critically ill(More)
Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (formerly Wegener's) (GPA) and microscopic polyangiitis (MPA) share many clinical and pathological features, including antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) directed against either proteinase 3 (PR3) or myeloperoxidase (MPO). These two " ANCA-associated " vasculitides (AAV) are associated with a high mortality in(More)
Fibrosing mediastinitis (FM) and IgG4-related disease (IgG4-RD) are two fibroinflammatory disorders with potentially overlapping clinical and radiological features. In this paper, we looked for histopathologic features of IgG4-RD and enumerated infiltrating IgG4-positive plasma cells within mediastinal tissue biopsies from FM patients. We identified 15(More)
BACKGROUND Rituximab is effective as therapy for induction of remission in anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV). However, the effect of rituximab is not sustained, and subsequent relapse rates are high, especially in patients with a history of relapse. There is a need to identify whether maintenance therapy with rituximab(More)
The neutrophil azurophil granule constituent proteinase 3 (PR3) is the principal antigen for anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) in Wegener's granulomatosis. The conformation of the mature PR3 enzyme results from intracellular post-translational processing. The nascent molecule undergoes proteolytic cleavage of the amino-terminal signal peptide(More)
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