Collected clinical evidence shows that excessive formation and impaired clearance of neutrophil extracellular traps are involved in the progression of a variety of autoimmune diseases including: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia, ANCA-associated Vasculitis and some others.
NET structure contain highly cytotoxic proteins – elastase, myeloperoxidase, cathepsin G, lactoferrin, pentraxin 3, gelatinase, proteinase 3 and others, normally expelled by neutrophils to trap and eliminate pathogens. During autoimmune inflammation, autoantibodies, immune complexes and damage associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) are released by dying target cells triggering the formation and release of NETs by cells of the innate immune system. This cascade of events amplifies tissue damage in the areas of autoimmune inflammation.
Moreover, in autoimmune conditions, NETs might further dysregulate immune response by serving as secondary autoantigens.
Our preclinical studies in large animals with septic shock have confirmed that NucleoCapture is able to remove from circulation not only NETs, but also circulating genomic DNA and circulating mitochondrial DNA. Both markers have been recognized as important autoantigens and powerful DAMPs involved in the development of autoimmunity and autoimmune inflammation. We believe that the removal of NETs, genomic and mitochondrial DNA from circulation using NucleoCapture therapeutic apheresis, represents a powerful treatment option for patients with autoimmune disease.
Devastating effects of NETs in Lupus: Xavier Bosch, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and the Neutrophil. N Engl J Med 2011; 365:758-760