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Arthritis Rheum. 2006 Mar;54(3):986-91.

Abundance of the long pentraxin PTX3 at sites of leukocytoclastic lesions in patients with small-vessel vasculitis.

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  • 1University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The prototypical tissue pentraxin PTX3 inhibits phagocytosis of late apoptotic polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) by macrophages. Levels of PTX3 parallel disease activity in small-vessel vasculitis. Small-vessel vasculitis is often characterized by leukocytoclasia, a phenomenon of accumulation of nuclear remnants from unscavenged PMNs in or near the vessel wall. We therefore hypothesized that PTX3 accumulates at sites of leukocytoclastic vasculitis and, as such, is a key factor for the induction of leukocytoclasis.

METHODS:

We examined skin biopsy samples from 13 patients with small-vessel vasculitis and from 4 healthy and 3 inflammatory skin disease controls. Biopsy tissues, characterized histopathologically as leukocytoclastic vasculitis, were studied for the presence of PTX3 using rabbit anti-PTX3 polyclonal antibodies. Sections were scored morphometrically for leukocytoclastic infiltrates in conjunction with PTX3 staining. Morphometric scores were expressed as percentages of staining of the total tissue area.

RESULTS:

Biopsy specimens from patients with leukocytoclastic vasculitis revealed an abundant up-regulation of PTX3 at sites of leukocytoclastic infiltrates. Significantly more PTX3 was found in tissues from the 13 patients with vasculitis (mean +/- SEM 48.9 +/- 6.1%) than in tissues from the 7 controls (4.5 +/- 2.7%) (P = 0.0003). PTX3 was localized around vessels, as well as spread diffusely throughout the tissue.

CONCLUSION:

PTX3 is abundantly present at sites of leukocytoclastic infiltrates in patients with small-vessel vasculitis, but not in controls. Since PTX3 inhibits phagocytosis of late apoptotic PMNs by macrophages and is strongly up-regulated at sites of leukocytoclastic infiltration, PTX3 is a candidate factor in the phenomenon of leukocytoclasia in small-vessel vasculitis.

PMID:
16508993
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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