The Role of Complement Inhibition in Thrombotic Angiopathies and Antiphospholipid Syndrome.
ABSTRACT: Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is characterized by thrombosis (arterial, venous, small vessel) and/or pregnancy morbidity occurring in patients with persistently positive antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL). Catastrophic APS is the most severe form of the disease, characterized by multiple organ thromboses occurring in a short period and commonly associated with thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA). Similar to patients with complement regulatory gene mutations developing TMA, increased complement activation on endothelial cells plays a role in hypercoagulability in aPL-positive patients. In mouse models of APS, activation of the complement is required and interaction of complement (C) 5a with its receptor C5aR leads to aPL-induced inflammation, placental insufficiency, and thrombosis. Anti-C5 antibody and C5aR antagonist peptides prevent aPL-mediated pregnancy loss and thrombosis in these experimental models. Clinical studies of anti-C5 monoclonal antibody in aPL-positive patients are limited to a small number of case reports. Ongoing and future clinical studies of complement inhibitors will help determine the role of complement inhibition in the management of aPL-positive patients.
Project description:The antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is characterized by thrombosis and pregnancy morbidity in the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL). Complement is a system of enzymes and regulatory proteins of the innate immune system that plays a key role in the inflammatory response to pathogenic stimuli. The complement and coagulation pathways are closely linked, and expanding data indicate that complement may be activated in patients with aPL and function as a cofactor in the pathogenesis of aPL-associated clinical events. Complement activation by aPL generates C5a, which induces neutrophil tissue factor-dependent procoagulant activity. Beta-2-glycoprotein I, the primary antigen for pathogenic aPL, has complement regulatory effects in vitro. Moreover, aPL induce fetal loss in wild-type mice but not in mice deficient in specific complement components (C3, C5). Antiphospholipid antibodies also induce thrombosis in wild type mice and this effect is attenuated in C3 or C6 deficient mice, or in the presence of a C5 inhibitor. Increased levels of complement activation products have been demonstrated in sera of patients with aPL, though the association with clinical events remains unclear. Eculizumab, a terminal complement inhibitor, has successfully been used to treat catastrophic APS and prevent APS-related thrombotic microangiopathy in the setting of renal transplant. However, the mechanisms of complement activation in APS, its role in the pathogenesis of aPL related complications in humans, and the potential of complement inhibition as a therapeutic target in APS require further study.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>To evaluate the subsequent rate of thrombosis among women with obstetric antiphospholipid syndrome (Ob-APS) in a multicentre database of antiphospholipid antibody (aPL)-positive patients, and the clinical utility of the adjusted Global Antiphospholipid Syndrome Score (aGAPSS), a validated tool to assess the likelihood of developing new thrombosis, in this group of patients.<h4>Design</h4>Retrospective study.<h4>Setting</h4>The Antiphospholipid Syndrome Alliance for Clinical Trials and International Networking Clinical Database and Repository.<h4>Population</h4>Women with Ob-APS.<h4>Methods</h4>Comparison of clinical and laboratory characteristics and measurement of aGAPSS in women with Ob-APS, with or without thrombosis, after initial pregnancy morbidity (PM).<h4>Main outcome measures</h4>Risk factors for thrombosis and aGAPSS.<h4>Results</h4>Of 550 patients, 126 had Ob-APS; 74/126 (59%) presented with thrombosis, and 47 (63%) of these women developed thrombosis after initial PM, in a mean time of 7.6 ± 8.2 years (4.9/100 patient years). Younger age at diagnosis of Ob-APS, additional cardiovascular risk factors, superficial vein thrombosis, heart valve disease, and multiple aPL positivity increased the risk of first thrombosis after PM. Women with thrombosis after PM had a higher aGAPSS compared with women with Ob-APS alone [median 11.5 (4-16) versus 9 (4-13); P = 0.0089].<h4>Conclusion</h4>Based on a retrospective analysis of our multicentre aPL database, 63% of women with Ob-APS developed thrombosis after initial obstetric morbidity; additional thrombosis risk factors, selected clinical manifestations, and high-risk aPL profile increased the risk. Women with subsequent thrombosis after Ob-APS had a higher aGAPSS at entry to the registry. We believe that aGAPSS is a valid tool to improve risk stratification in aPL-positive women.<h4>Tweetable abstract</h4>More than 60% of women with obstetric antiphospholipid syndrome had thrombosis after initial pregnancy morbidity.
Project description:Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is a chronic and disabling condition characterized by recurrent thrombosis and miscarriages mediated by antibodies against phospholipid-binding proteins (aPL), such as beta2glycoprotein I (?2GPI). Complement is involved in APS animal models and complement deposits have been documented in placenta and thrombotic vessels despite normal serum levels. Analysis of circulating blood cells coated with C4d displays higher sensitivity than the conventional assays that measure soluble native complement components and their unstable activation products in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). As C4d-coated blood cell count has been reported to be more sensitive than serum levels of complement components and their activation products in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients, we decided to evaluate the percentage of C4d positive B lymphocytes (BC4d), erythrocytes (EC4d), and platelets (PC4d) in primary APS patients and asymptomatic aPL positive carriers as marker of complement activation in APS. We assessed by flow cytometry the percentages of BC4d, EC4d, and PC4d in primary APS (PAPS; n. 23), 8 asymptomatic aPL positive carriers, 11 APS-associated SLE (SAPS), 17 aPL positive SLE, 16 aPL negative SLE, 8 aPL negative patients with previous thrombosis, 11 immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) patients, and 26 healthy subjects. In addition, we used an in vitro model to evaluate the ability of a monoclonal anti-?2GPI antibody (MBB2) to bind to normal resting or activated platelets and fix complement. EC4d and PC4d percentages were significantly higher in PAPS and aPL carriers as well as aPL positive SLE and SAPS than in aPL negative controls. The highest values were found in PAPS and in SAPS. The EC4d and PC4d percentages were significantly correlated with serum C3/C4 and anti-?2GPI/anti-cardiolipin IgG. In vitro studies showed that MBB2 bound to activated platelets only and induced C4d deposition. The detection of the activation product C4d on circulating erythrocytes and platelets supports the role of complement activation in APS. Complement may represent a new therapeutic target for better treatment and prevention of disability of APS patients.
Project description:The antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is characterized by thrombosis and/or pregnancy morbidity in the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies, including anti-?2-glycoprotein-I (anti-?2GPI), that are considered central to APS pathogenesis. Based on animal studies showing a role of complement in APS-related clinical events, we used the modified Ham (mHam) assay (complement-dependent cell killing) and cell-surface deposition of C5b-9 to test the hypothesis that complement activation is associated with thrombotic events in APS. A positive mHam (and corresponding C5b-9 deposition) were present in 85.7% of catastrophic APS (CAPS), 35.6% of APS (and 68.5% of samples collected within 1 year of thrombosis), and only 6.8% of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) sera. A positive mHam assay was associated with triple positivity (for lupus anticoagulant, anticardiolipin, and anti-?2GPI antibodies) and recurrent thrombosis. Patient-derived anti-?2GPI antibodies also induced C5b-9 deposition, which was blocked completely by an anti-C5 monoclonal antibody, but not by a factor D inhibitor, indicating that complement activation by anti-?2GPI antibodies occurs primarily through the classical complement pathway. Finally, patients with CAPS have high rates of rare germline variants in complement regulatory genes (60%), compared with patients with APS (21.8%) or SLE (28.6%) or normal controls (23.3%), and have mutations at a rate similar to that of patients with atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (51.5%). Taken together, our data suggest that anti-?2GPI antibodies activate complement and contribute to thrombosis in APS, whereas patients with CAPS have underlying mutations in complement regulatory genes that serve as a "second hit," leading to uncontrolled complement activation and a more severe thrombotic phenotype.
Project description:Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is an acquired autoimmune disease characterized by thromboembolic events, pregnancy morbidity, and the presence of antiphospholipid (aPL) antibodies. There is sound evidence that aPL act as pathogenic autoantibodies being responsible for vascular clots and miscarriages. However, the exact mechanisms involved in the clinical manifestations of the syndrome are still a matter of investigation. In particular, while vascular thrombosis is apparently not associated with inflammation, the pathogenesis of miscarriages can be explained only in part by the aPL-mediated hypercoagulable state and additional non-thrombotic effects, including placental inflammation, have been described. Despite this difference, evidence obtained from animal models and studies in APS patients support the conclusion that complement activation is a common denominator in both vascular and obstetric APS. Tissue-bound aPL rather than circulating aPL-beta2 glycoprotein I immune complexes seem to be responsible for the activation of the classical and the alternative complement pathways. The critical role of complement is supported by the finding that complement-deficient animals are protected from the pathogenic effect of passively infused aPL and similar results have been obtained blocking complement activation. Moreover, elevated levels of complement activation products in the absence of abnormalities in regulatory molecules have been found in the plasma of APS patients, strongly suggesting that the activation of complement cascade is the result of aPL binding to the target antigen rather than of a defective regulation. Placental complement deposits represent a further marker of complement activation both in animals and in patients, and there is also some suggestive evidence that complement activation products are deposited in the affected vessels. The aim of this review is to analyze the state of the art of complement involvement in the pathogenesis of APS in order to provide insights into the role of this system as predictive biomarker for the clinical manifestations and as therapeutic target.
Project description:APS is the association of antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) with thromboses and/or recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL). Among patients with SLE, one-third have aPL and 10-15% have a manifestation of secondary APS. Animal studies suggested that complement activation plays an important role in the pathogenesis of thrombosis and pregnancy loss in APS. We performed a cross-sectional study on complement proteins and genes in 525 patients with aPL. Among them, 237 experienced thromboses and 293 had SLE; 111 had both SLE and thromboses, and 106 had neither SLE nor thrombosis. Complement protein levels were determined by radial immunodiffusion for C4, C3 and factor H; and by functional ELISA for mannan binding lectin (MBL). Total C4, C4A and C4B gene copy numbers (GCN) were measured by TaqMan-based realtime PCR. Two to six copies of C4 genes are frequently present in a diploid genome, and each copy may code for an acidic C4A or a basic C4B protein. We observed significantly (a) higher protein levels of total C4, C4A, C4B, C3, and anticardiolipin (ACLA) IgG, (b) increased frequencies of lupus anticoagulant and males, and (c) decreased levels of complement factor H, MBL and ACLA-IgM among patients with thrombosis than those without thrombosis (N = 288). We also observed significantly lower GCNs of total C4 and C4A among aPL-positive patients with both SLE and thrombosis than others. By contrast, aPL-positive subjects with SLE had significantly reduced protein levels of C3, total C4, C4A, C4B and ACLA-IgG, and higher frequency of females than those without SLE. Patients with thrombosis but without SLE (N = 126), and patients with SLE but without thrombosis (N = 182) had the greatest differences in mean protein levels of C3 (p = 2.6 × 10-6), C4 (p = 2.2 × 10-9) and ACLA-IgG (p = 1.2 × 10-5). RPL occurred in 23.7% of female patients and thrombotic SLE patients had the highest frequency of RPL (41.0%; p = 3.8 × 10-10). Compared with non-RPL females, RPL had significantly higher frequency of thrombosis and elevated C4 protein levels. Female patients with homozygous C4A deficiency all experienced RPL (p = 0.0001) but the opposite was true for patients with homozygous C4B deficiency (p = 0.017). These results provide new insights and biomarkers for diagnosis and management of APS and SLE.
Project description:Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is an adquired autoimmune pro-thrombotic disease characterized by arterial and/or venous thrombosis and/or fetal losses associated with the persistent presence of antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) detectable by solid phase assays (anticardiolipin (aCL) and anti-?2 glycoprotein I, ?2GPI) and/or functional coagulation test (lupus anticoagulant (LA)). Most patients with typical APS manifestations have the presence of one or more of conventional aPL, but, some patients might exhibit clinical features related with APS but with persistent negative determinations of "classic" aPL (seronegative APS). Expanding the network of autoantibodies in patients highly suspected of having APS but who have normal results from a conventional test using new antibodies (i.e., phosphatidylserine/prothrombin and ?2GPI domain 1) would increase the diagnosis. Thrombosis is one of the leading causes of death among patients with cancer, representing up to 15% of all deaths. Cancer increases the risk of thrombosis and chemotherapy is further associated with a higher risk of thrombosis. In addition, aPL may contribute to an increased risk of thrombosis in patients with malignancies, although the levels do not seem to reflect their pathogenicity. Several malignancies, particularly hematological and lymphoproliferative malignancies, may indeed be associated with the generation of aPL but do not necessarily enhance the thrombophilic risk in these patients.
Project description:The antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is characterized by recurrent vascular thrombosis, thrombocytopenia, and fetal loss occurring in the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL). Along with arterial and venous thrombosis and pregnancy complications, patients with APS have an increased risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, and coronary artery disease, resulting from vascular cell dysfunction induced by aPL. Accumulating evidence to date indicates that interactions between circulating aPL and cell surface molecules of target cells, primarily endothelial cells and platelets, underlie the vascular disease phenotypes of APS. However, the molecular basis of APS is poorly understood. Nitric oxide produced by endothelial cells is a key determinant of vascular health that regulates several physiologic processes, including thrombosis, endothelial-leukocyte interaction, vascular cell migration, and the modulation of vascular tone. This review will discuss recent findings that indicate a novel mechanism by which aPL antagonize endothelial cell production of nitric oxide and thereby promote thrombosis.
Project description:The antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is defined by simultaneous presence of vascular clinical events and antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL). The aPL considered as diagnostics are lupus anticoagulant and antibodies anticardiolipin (aCL) and anti-ß2 glycoprotein-I (aB2GP1). During recent years, IgA aB2GP1 antibodies have been associated with thrombotic events both in patients positive, and mainly negative for other aPL, however its value as a pro-thrombotic risk-factor in asymptomatic patients has not been well defined.To test the role of IgA anti B2GP1 as a risk factor for the development of APS-events (thrombosis or pregnancy morbidity) in asymptomatic population with a 5-year follow-up.244 patients isolated positive for anti-beta2-glycoprotein I IgA (Group-1 study) and 221 negative patients (Group-2 control) were studied. All the patients were negative for IgG and IgM aCL.During the follow-up, 45 patients (9.7%) had APS-events, 38 positive for IgA-aB2GP1 and 7 negative (15.6% vs 3.2%, p<0.001). The incidence rate of APS-events was 3.1% per year in IgA-aB2GP1 positive patients and 0.6% per year in the control group. Arterial thrombosis were the most frequent APS-events (N = 25, 55%) and were mainly observed in Group-1 patients (21 vs 4, p = 0.001). Multivariate analysis were shown as independent risk-factors for the development of APS-events, age, sex (men) and presence of IgA-aB2GP1 (odds ratio 5.25, 95% CI 2.24 to 12.32).The presence of IgA-aB2GP1 in people with no history of APS-events is the main independent risk factor for the development of these types of events, mainly arterial thrombosis.
Project description:Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is defined by clinical manifestations that include thrombosis and/or fetal loss or pregnancy morbidity in patients with antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL). Antiphospholipid antibodies are among the most common causes of acquired thrombophilia, but unlike most of the genetic thrombophilias are associated with both venous and arterial thrombosis. Despite an abundance of clinical and basic research on aPL, a unified mechanism that explains their prothrombotic activity has not been defined; this may reflect the heterogeneity of aPL and/or the fact that they may influence multiple pro- and/or antithrombotic pathways. Antiphospholipid antibodies are directed primarily toward phospholipid binding proteins rather than phospholipid per se, with the most common antigenic target being ?2-glycoprotein 1 (?2GPI) although antibodies against other targets such as prothrombin are well described. Laboratory diagnosis of aPL depends upon the detection of a lupus anticoagulant (LA), which prolongs phospholipid-dependent anticoagulation tests, and/or anticardiolipin and anti-?2-glycoprotein 1 antibodies. Indefinite anticoagulation remains the mainstay of therapy for thrombotic APS, although new strategies that may improve outcomes are emerging. Preliminary reports suggest caution in the use of direct oral anticoagulants in patients with APS-associated thrombosis. Based on somewhat limited evidence, aspirin and low molecular weight heparin are recommended for obstetrical APS. There remains a pressing need for better understanding of the pathogenesis of APS in humans, for identification of clinical and laboratory parameters that define patients at greatest risk for APS-related events, and for targeted treatment of this common yet enigmatic disorder.