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Articles by K. G Becker
Total Records ( 2 ) for K. G Becker
  R. B Pearlman , P. R Golchet , M. G Feldmann , L. A Yannuzzi , M. J Cooney , J. E Thorne , J. C Folk , E. H Ryan , A Agarwal , K. C Barnes , K. G Becker and L. M. Jampol

Objective  To determine whether there is an increased prevalence of systemic autoimmune diseases in both patients with white spot syndromes (WSS) and their family members.

Methods  Patients with WSS at participating institutions were asked to complete a questionnaire reporting their own medical histories as well as any autoimmune diseases among their first- and second-degree relatives.

Results  As of January 1, 2008, 114 questionnaires had been collected, providing medical histories of 114 patients with WSS and 1098 family members. The number of patients with WSS with self-reported systemic autoimmune diseases was 26 (23%). Of 1098 relatives, 106 (10%) had at least 1 autoimmune disease. Systemic autoimmunity was more prevalent in female relatives (13%) as compared with male relatives (6%). In addition, the prevalence of autoimmunity was significantly higher among first-degree relatives (13%) than second-degree relatives (8%). Patients who themselves had systemic autoimmune diseases showed a greater prevalence of systemic autoimmunity among their families as compared with the families of patients without systemic autoimmune diseases.

Conclusions  Our data indicate that there is an increased prevalence of systemic autoimmunity in both patients with WSS and their first- and second-degree relatives. This suggests that WSS occur in families with inherited immune dysregulation that predisposes to autoimmunity.

  Z Tang , P Arjunan , C Lee , Y Li , A Kumar , X Hou , B Wang , P Wardega , F Zhang , L Dong , Y Zhang , S. Z Zhang , H Ding , R. N Fariss , K. G Becker , J Lennartsson , N Nagai , Y Cao and X. Li

Platelet-derived growth factor CC (PDGF-CC) is the third member of the PDGF family discovered after more than two decades of studies on the original members of the family, PDGF-AA and PDGF-BB. The biological function of PDGF-CC remains largely to be explored. We report a novel finding that PDGF-CC is a potent neuroprotective factor that acts by modulating glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) activity. In several different animal models of neuronal injury, such as axotomy-induced neuronal death, neurotoxin-induced neuronal injury, 6-hydroxydopamine–induced Parkinson’s dopaminergic neuronal death, and ischemia-induced stroke, PDGF-CC protein or gene delivery protected different types of neurons from apoptosis in both the retina and brain. On the other hand, loss-of-function assays using PDGF-C null mice, neutralizing antibody, or short hairpin RNA showed that PDGF-CC deficiency/inhibition exacerbated neuronal death in different neuronal tissues in vivo. Mechanistically, we revealed that the neuroprotective effect of PDGF-CC was achieved by regulating GSK3β phosphorylation and expression. Our data demonstrate that PDGF-CC is critically required for neuronal survival and may potentially be used to treat neurodegenerative diseases. Inhibition of the PDGF-CC–PDGF receptor pathway for different clinical purposes should be conducted with caution to preserve normal neuronal functions.

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