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Title: Development and characterisation of a 4-dimensional in vitro model of ANCA-associated vasculitis
Author: Walls, Catriona A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7225 9695
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2017
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ANCA-associated vasculitis is a group of devastating autoimmune diseases that predominantly target and destroy small blood vessels. The interaction of neutrophils and monocytes with the endothelial cell lining of blood vessels is imperative to understanding the pathophysiology of the disease. The nature and temporal dynamics of these interactions are mostly unknown and could provide a currently unmet clinical need for more reliable biomarkers of disease activity. This study describes the development of a 4-dimensional in vitro live cell imaging model allowing the interactions of leukocytes with endothelial cells to be analysed in the context of health and disease. Monocytes and neutrophils were isolated from peripheral venous blood of AAV patients and healthy donors. Cells were fluorescently labelled and imaged on a monolayer of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) using a spinning disc confocal microscope. Leukocyte migration, partial and full transmigration, route of transmigration, degranulation and the presence of leukocyte-derived particles inside endothelial cells were measured and the influence of ANCA or BVAS status considered. Following a series of preliminary experiments, it was determined that neutrophil degranulation and partial transmigration indicated early promise as potential biomarkers of disease activity. Several circulating serum analytes correlated with in vitro leukocyte functions, complementing these findings but also highlighting the prevalent immune dysfunction in the pathophysiology and development of the disease. Fatigue is a common symptom within the AAV community and the complex relationship between autoimmune fatigue and leukocyte functions was examined. The data in this thesis describes the development of a novel in vitro live cell imaging platform which can be used to investigate leukocyte functions as potential markers of disease activity as well as understanding their role in the pathophysiology of AAV.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Lauren Currie Twilight Foundation
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Vasculitis ; Leucocytes ; Autoimmune diseases ; Vascular endothelial cells