Increased BAFF and APRIL levels in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-related hypertrophic pachymeningitis

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Hypertrophic pachymeningitis (HP) is an inflammatory disorder involving intracranial or spinal thickened dura mater. It has been recognized that anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis may lead to HP; however, the immune-mediated pathogenesis of ANCA-related HP (ANCA-HP) remains elusive. In the present study, we analyzed B-cell activation factor of the tumor necrosis factor family (BAFF) and a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL) expression in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum of patients with ANCA-HP, multiple sclerosis (MS), and non-inflammatory neurological disorders (NIND). BAFF and APRIL levels in the CSF were significantly higher in patients with ANCA-HP than in those with MS and NIND. In addition, a positive correlation between BAFF levels in the CSF and IgG-index was found in patients with ANCA-HP. On the other hand, no correlation was detected between CSF and serum levels of BAFF or APRIL. The results suggest that increased levels of BAFF and APRIL produced in the central nervous system may influence the development of ANCA-HP.

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