Medical Literature - 2000

C1-Esterase inhibitor: an anti-inflammatory agent and its potential use in the treatment of diseases other than hereditary angioedema

Caliezi C, Wuillemin WA, Zeerleder S, Redondo M, Eisele B, Hack CE 3/2000 Pharmacological Reviews (Pharmacol.Rev.)

C1-esterase inhibitor (C1-Inh) therapy was introduced in clinical medicine about 25 years ago as a replacement therapy for patients with hereditary angioedema caused by a deficiency of C1-Inh. There is now accumulating evidence, obtained from studies in animals and observations in patients, that administration of C1-Inh may have a beneficial effect as well in other clinical conditions such as sepsis, cytokine-induced vascular leak syndrome, acute myocardial infarction, or other diseases. Activation of the complement system, the contact activation system, and the coagulation system has been observed in these diseases. A typical feature of the contact and complement system is that on activation they give rise to vasoactive peptides such as bradykinin or the anaphylatoxins, which in part explains the proinflammatory effects of either system. C1-Inh, belonging to the superfamily of serine proteinase inhibitors (serpins), is a major inhibitor of the classical complement pathway, the contact activation system, and the intrinsic pathway of coagulation, respectively. It is, therefore, endowed with anti-inflammatory properties. However, inactivation of C1-Inh occurs locally in inflamed tissues by proteolytic enzymes (e.g., elastase) released from activated neutrophils or bacteria thereby leading to increased local activation of the various host defense systems. Here we will give an overview on the biochemistry and biology of C1-Inh. We will discuss studies addressing therapeutic administration of C1-Inh in experimental and clinical conditions. Finally, we will provide an explanation for the therapeutic benefit of C1-Inh in so many different diseases. [References: 270].


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Canadian 2003 International Consensus Algorithm For the Diagnosis, Therapy, and Management of Hereditary Angioedema

Bowen T, Cicardi M, Farkas H, Bork K, Kreuz W, Zingale L, et al /2000 Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology

C1 inhibitor deficiency (hereditary angioedema [HAE]) is a rare disorder for which there is a lack of consensus concerning diagnosis, therapy, and management, particularly in Canada. European initiatives have driven the approach to managing HAE with 3 C1-INH Deficiency Workshops held every 2 years in Hungary starting in 1999, with the third Workshop having recently been held in May 2003. The European Contact Board has established a European HAE Registry that will hopefully advance our knowledge of this disorder. The Canadian Hereditary Angioedema Society/Societe d’Angioedeme Hereditaire du Canada organized a Canadian International Consensus Conference held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on October 24 to 26, 2003, to foster consensus between major European and North American HAE treatment centers. Papers were presented by investigators from Europe and North America, and this consensus algorithm approach was discussed. There is a paucity of double-blind placebo-controlled trials in the treatment of HAE, making levels of evidence to support the algorithm less than optimal. Enclosed is the consensus algorithm approach recommended for the diagnosis, therapy, and management of HAE and agreed to by the authors of this article. This document is only a consensus algorithm approach and requires validation. As such, participants agreed to make this a living 2003 algorithm (ie, a work in progress) and agreed to review its content at future international HAE meetings. The consensus, however, has strength in that it was arrived at by the meeting of patient-care providers along with patient group representatives and individual patients reviewing information available to date and reaching agreement on how to approach the diagnosis, therapy, and management of HAE circa 2003. Hopefully evidence to support approaches to the management of HAE will approach the level of meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials in the near future. [References: 77].

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Hereditary angioneurotic edema: review of the literature

Ebo DG, Stevens WJ 1/2000 Acta Clinica Belgica (Acta Clinica Belgica (Acta Clin.Belg.))

Congenital C1-inhibitor deficiency, or hereditary angioneurotic edema (HAE), is a rare autosomal dominant disease due to alterations in the C1 inhibitor gene that results in a deficiency of antigenic and/or functional C1-INH. Affected patients are heterozygous, and their deficiency is incomplete, many of them having up to 20% of the normal amount of the inhibitor. The disease is characterised by recurrent, circumscribed, non-pitting, and non-pruritic subepithelial swellings of sudden onset, which fade during the course of 48-72 hours, but can persist up to 1 week. Lesions can be solitary or multiple and primarily involve the extremities, larynx, face, and bowel wall. Bradykinin is believed to be the main, but certainly not the sole, mediator responsible for the bouts of edema in HAE. The diagnosis is suggested by family history, the lack of accompanying pruritus or urticaria, the presence of recurrent gastrointestinal attacks of colics, and episodes of laryngeal edema. Diminished C4 concentrations during symptomatic periods are highly suggestive for the diagnosis. Further laboratory diagnosis depends on demonstrating a deficiency of C1-INH antigen (type I) in most kindreds, but some kindreds have an antigenically intact but dysfunctional protein (type II) and require a functional assay to establish the diagnosis. Prophylactic administration of either attenuated androgens or protease inhibitors has proved useful in reducing frequency or severity of attacks. Infusions of a vapour-heated C1-INH concentrate are safe and effective means of both preventing and treating attacks. Nevertheless, this treatment is expensive and this extract is not readily available. It is emphasised that administration of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors is contraindicated in patients suffering from protease inhibitor deficiency states. [References: 58].


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Life-threatening laryngeal oedema in a pregnant woman with hereditary angioedema

McGlinchey PG, Golchin K, McCluskey DR 5/2000 Ulster Med.J.


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Therapeutic inhibition of the complement system-Y2K update

Asghar SS, Pasch MC /2000 Frontiers in Bioscience

Activation of complement is an essential part of the mechanism of pathogenesis of a large number of human diseases; its inhibition by pharmacological means is likely to suppress disease processes in complement mediated diseases. From this point of view low molecular weight synthetic inhibitors of complement are being developed and high molecular weight natural inhibitors of human origin present in plasma or embedded in cell membrane are being purified or produced in their recombinant forms. This review is concerned with high molecular weight inhibitors, some of which are already in clinical use but may be efficacious in many other diseases in which they have not yet been tried. C1-esterase inhibitor (C1-INH) concentrate prepared from human plasma is being successfully used for the treatment of hereditary angioneurotic edema. Recently, C1-INH has been found to be consumed in severe inflammation and has been shown to exert beneficial effects in several inflammatory conditions such as human sepsis, post-operative myocardial dysfunction due to reperfusion injury, severe capillary leakage syndrome after bone marrow transplantation, reperfusion injury after lung transplantation, burn, and cytotoxicity caused by IL-2 therapy in cancer. Factor I has been used for the treatment of factor I deficiency. Recombinant soluble forms of membrane cofactor protein (MCP), and decay accelerating factor (DAF) have not yet been tried in humans but have been shown to be effective in immune complex mediate inflammation in animals. Organs of pigs transgenic for one or more of human membrane regulators of complement namely membrane cofactor protein (MCP), decay accelerating factor (DAF) or CD59, are being produced for transplantation into humans. They have been shown to be resistant to hyperacute rejection in non-human primates; acute vascular rejection is still a problem in their clinical use. It is hoped that these observations together with future developments will make xeno-transplantation in clinical practice a reality. Several recombinant variants of complement receptor 1 (CR1) have been produced. The most effective of these appears to be sCR1-SLe x, sCR1 part of which inhibits complement and carbohydrate Sle x moiety inhibits selectin mediated interactions of neutrophils and lymphocytes with endothelium. Although clinical trials of sCR1 in humans is eagerly awaited, several of the recombinant versions of sCR1 have been shown to suppress ischemia/reperfusion injury, thermal trauma, and immune complex mediated inflammation. They have also been shown to be effective in experimental models of systemic sclerosis, arthritis, myasthenia gravis, Guillain Barre syndrome and glomerulonephritis. Intravenous immunoglobulin, three of the most prominent properties of which are neutralization of autoantibody activity, suppression of autoantibody production and inhibition of complement activity, is being used in several diseases. These include autoimmune thrombocyopenic purpura, Kawasaki disease and several neurological diseases such as myasthenia gravis and Guillain Barre syndrome. In many uncontrolled small scale studies intravenous immunoglobulin has been shown to be effective in many immunological including dermatological diseases; controlled clinical trials in a large number of patients with these diseases is needed to establish the efficacy. It is hoped that in future therapeutic inhibition of complement will be one of the major approaches to combat many human diseases. [References: 151].

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Funding for Canadian Hereditary Angioedema Network has been generously provided by unrestricted grants from:


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