[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ALIGN study (NCT01061723) evaluated the efficacy and safety of sarilumab, the first fully human monoclonal antibody against interleukin-6 receptor-α (IL-6Rα), in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS).
Patients with active AS despite conventional treatment were randomised to placebo, or one of five subcutaneous dose regimens of sarilumab (100, 150 or 200 mg every other week, or 100 or 150 mg every week), for 12 weeks. The primary efficacy end point was the percentage of patients achieving the Axial SpondyloArthritis international Society (ASAS) 20 response criteria at week 12. Secondary endpoints included ASAS40 response, ASAS partial remission, AS Disease Activity Score, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) value, and safety.
Baseline demographic and disease characteristics of the 301 patients enrolled were similar across treatment groups. At week 12, there was no statistically significant difference in ASAS20 response rate between placebo (ASAS20 = 24.0%) and any sarilumab dose group. A significantly greater reduction in hs-CRP value was achieved with the higher sarilumab doses versus placebo. No other statistically significant differences were evident for secondary efficacy endpoints.The most common treatment-emergent adverse events reported for sarilumab included infections (non-serious), neutropenia, and increase in alanine aminotransferase. No cases of tuberculosis, opportunistic, or fungal infections, or bowel perforations were reported. Seven patients experienced a treatment-emergent serious adverse event (all in sarilumab treatment groups). No deaths occurred.
The ALIGN study shows that IL-6Rα blockade with sarilumab was not an effective treatment for AS. Sarilumab was generally well tolerated with a manageable safety profile.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 02/2014; · 8.11 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fatigue is one of the cardinal features of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and contributes substantially to the disability associated with this disease. The mechanisms underlying fatigue in AS remain poorly understood, and this has hampered the development of targeted, effective treatment of this disabling feature of AS. The current study was undertaken, therefore, to investigate the brain networks underlying fatigue in AS.
Twenty patients with back pain secondary to AS (15 men and 5 women; mean ± SD age 34.8 ± 11.9 years) and 20 age- and sex-matched controls consented to participate in the study. Patients underwent clinical assessment of AS using the Fatigue Severity Scale, the Affect Intensity Measure, and the McGill Pain Questionnaire. Brain gray matter and white matter connectivity was assessed using 3T magnetic resonance imaging.
The patients with AS had significant fatigue that correlated with measures of their emotional strength and spinal mobility. Individual fatigue scores were negatively correlated with the amount of gray matter in areas of the dorsal and ventral attention networks, the somatosensory cortices, and the caudate nucleus, but were positively correlated with gray matter within the executive control network and putamen. Moreover, in patients with high fatigue scores, white matter tracts connecting these brain structures (e.g., inferior fronto-occipital fasciculi, superior/inferior longitudinal fasciculi, and corticothalamic tracts) exhibited low fractional anisotropy (indicative of decreased white matter tract integrity).
These data indicate that fatigue in AS involves sensory salience and attention brain networks.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A significant proportion of patients with juvenile spondyloarthritis (JSpA) are refractory to treatment with established medications. The objective of this study was to assess long-term efficacy of treatment with anti-TNF agents in patients with JSpA.
An observational study of 16 patients with JSpA from 3 centres treated with infliximab (n=10) and etanercept (n=6) was performed, with a median follow-up period of 7.2 years. Prospective data was collected according to a standardized protocol. Outcomes examined were TEC, TAJC, markers of inflammation (ESR, CRP), functional assessments (C-HAQ, BASDAI, BASFI), and ongoing requirement for anti-TNF treatment.
13/16 patients (83%) had achieved clinical remission 6 months into the treatment. Improvement was sustained over time, with a median TAJC and TEC of 0 at any time point after 6 weeks. 6/16 patients (38%) showed a flare of arthritis after a median of 3.5 years. Two patients with hip disease prior to treatment required an arthroplasty 3 and 8 years post anti-TNF initiation. Patients showed progression of sacroiliitis with median modified New York score of 1 (range 0-3) at time of diagnosis and 3 (range 0-4) at last follow-up (p=0.002). Median BASDAI at last follow up was 1.6, median BASFI 3.1. Two patients developed transient reactions (one generalised, one local); no patient developed other adverse effects during the study.
Anti-TNF treatment in JSpA refractory to standard treatment results in good long-term disease control except for pre-existing hip disease. However, radiographic evidence suggests inferior efficacy for control of sacroiliac joint disease.
Clinical and experimental rheumatology 01/2014; · 2.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the features of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and nonradiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA) in a Canadian cohort of 639 patients with AS and 73 patients with nr-axSpA.
Clinical and laboratory data were compared for patients with AS and nr-axSpA enrolled in a longitudinal SpA cohort.
The proportion of male patients was higher in AS than in nr-axSpA (76.2% vs 47.9%; p < 0.0001). There was no difference in the presence of HLA-B27 between AS (78.9%) and nr-axSpA (72.5%) patients, nor in age at the time of diagnosis, although AS patients were younger at the time of symptom onset (23.9 yrs vs 26.4 yrs; p = 0.03). Disease duration at the time of last clinic visit was longer for AS than for nr-axSpA patients (17.7 yrs vs 12.1 yrs; p = 0.0002). Acute-phase reactants were higher in AS than in nr-axSpA (C-reactive protein 11.4 vs 5.2, p < 0.0001; erythrocyte sedimentation rate 13.7 vs 9.9, p = 0.02). The Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Metrology Index was higher in patients with AS (2.84 vs 1.35, p < 0.0001).
Patients with nr-axSpA were more likely to be female and to have lower inflammatory markers than patients with AS. When restricted to female patients only, acute-phase reactants did not differ significantly between AS and nr-axSpA. The evidence provides indirect support for the concept that nr-axSpA may represent an early form of AS, but that also has features of a distinct disease entity with significant burden of symptoms.
The Journal of Rheumatology 11/2013; · 3.26 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is recognized that host response following viral infection is characterized by immunodominance, but deciphering the different factors contributing to immunodominance has proved a challenge due to concurrent expression of multiple MHC class I alleles. To address this, we generated H2-K(-/-) /D(-/-) (DKO) transgenic mice expressing either one or two human MHC-I alleles. We hypothesized that co-expression of different allele combinations figures critically in immunodominance and examined this in influenza-infected, double Tg MHC-I mice. In A2/B7 or A2/B27 mice, using ELISpot assays with the A2-restricted M1.58-66, the B7-restricted NP418-426 or the B27-restricted NP383-391 flu epitopes we observed the expected recognition of both peptides for both alleles. In contrast, in flu-infected B7/B27 mice a significantly reduced level of B27/NP383-restricted CTL response was detected while there was no change in the B7/NP418-restricted CTL response. Flu-specific tetramer studies revealed a partial deletion of Vβ8.1(+) NP383/B27-restricted CD8(+) T cells, and a diminished Vβ12(+) CD8(+) T-cell expansion in B7/B27 Tg mice. Using HLA Tg chimeric mice we confirmed these findings. These findings shed light on the immune consequences of co-dominant expression of MHC-I alleles for host immune response to pathogens. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
European Journal of Immunology 09/2013; · 4.97 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is an unacceptable delay in the diagnosis of axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) in its early stages among patients at high risk, in particular those with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Our objectives were to develop a sensible and reliable questionnaire to identify undetected axSpA among patients with IBD.
Literature was reviewed for item generation in the Toronto axSpA Questionnaire on IBD (TASQ-IBD). Sensibility of the questionnaire was assessed among healthcare professionals and patients. This assessment was related to purpose and framework (clinical function, clinical justification, and clinical applicability), face validity, comprehensiveness [oligo-variability (limiting the questionnaire to important items) and transparency], replicability, content validity, and feasibility. The test-retest reliability study was administered to 77 patients with established IBD and axSpA. Kappa agreement coefficients and absolute agreement were calculated for items.
Three domains included IBD, inflammatory back symptoms, and extraaxial features. The entry criterion required a patient to have IBD and back pain or stiffness that ever persisted for ≥ 3 months. Iterative sensibility assessment involved 16 items and a diagram of the back. Kappa coefficients ranged from 0.81-1.00 for each item. Absolute agreement across all items ranged from 91% to 100%.
TASQ-IBD is a newly developed, sensible, and reliable case-finding questionnaire to be administered to patients with IBD who have ever had chronic back pain or stiffness persisting for ≥ 3 months. It should facilitate identification and timely referral of patients with IBD to rheumatologists and minimize the delay in diagnosis of axSpA. Consequently, it should assess the prevalence of axSpA in IBD.
The Journal of Rheumatology 09/2013; · 3.26 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The primary objective of this study is to identify novel copy number variations (CNVs) associated with familial ankylosing spondylitis (AS). A customized genome-wide microarray was designed to detect CNVs and applied to a multiplex AS family with six (6) affected family members. CNVs were detected using the built-in DNA analytics aberration detection method-2 (ADM-2) algorithm. Gene enrichment analysis was performed to observe the segregation. Subsequent validation was performed using real time quantitative fluorescence polymerase reaction (QF-PCR). The frequency of copy number variation for the UGT2B17 gene was then performed on two well-defined AS cohorts. Fisher exact test was performed to quantify the association.
Our family-based analysis revealed ten gene-enriched CNVs that segregate with all six family members affected with AS. Based on the proposed function and the polymorphic nature of the UGT2B17 gene, the UGT2B17 gene CNV was selected for validation using real time QF-PCR with full concordance. The frequency of two copies of the UGT2B17 gene CNV was 0.41 in the Newfoundland AS cases and 0.35 in the Newfoundland controls (OR = 1.26(0.99-1.59); p < 0.05)), whereas the frequency of two (2) copies of the UGT2B17 gene CNV was 0.40 in the Alberta AS cases and 0.39 in the Alberta controls (OR = 1.05(95% CI: 0.83-1.33); p < 0.71)).
A genome-wide microarray interrogation of a large multiplex AS family revealed segregation of the UGT2B17 gene CNV among all affected family members. The association of the UGT2B17 CNV with AS is particularly interesting given the recent association of this CNV with osteoporosis and the proposed function as it encodes a key enzyme that inhibits androgens. However, two copies of the UGT2B17 gene CNV were only marginally significant in a uniplex AS cohort from Newfoundland but not in a uniplex AS cohort from Alberta.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Spondyloarthropathies (SpA) are a group of disorders that primarily affect the synovial joints of the axial and appendicular skeleton of variable predilections. Plain radiography is the initial and standard method of investigation in axial SpAs. Careful evaluation of the radiographs through developing a systematic approach is indispensible in reaching the correct diagnosis. Cross-sectional imaging, in particular magnetic resonance imaging, has been increasingly used in evaluating SpAs during the early phases of the disease or when radiographic findings are equivocal. Different types of SpAs demonstrate different imaging characteristics that are important to identify to reach the correct diagnosis.
Rheumatic diseases clinics of North America 08/2013; 39(3):645-667. · 2.59 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unravelling the basis of joint inflammation and ankylosis represents a major challenge in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) research. As noggin (NOG) and sclerostin (SOST) have recently been associated with the disease process in mouse and human studies, respectively, we explored the immune responses to these two molecules in AS.
Immune complexes (IC) composed of IgG autoantibodies to NOG and SOST were detected by immunoprecipitation and Western blot analyses. Epitope-specific IgG were measured using peptide-binding ELISA. Serum samples were obtained from healthy controls and patients with AS, mechanical back pain (MBP) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) with or without concomitant AS.
NOG and SOST-IgG IC were present in NOG-treated and untreated ank/ank (progressive ankylosis), but not in wild-type mice. Higher than normal levels of NOG and SOST-IgG IC are present in AS sera (p<0.001). We showed a SOST peptide (SOST-S146, with homology to a bacterial glycotransferase peptide) binds to a NOG peptide (NOG-N54), which contains a N-glycosylation site. AS patients have higher levels of IgG recognising the NOG-N54 and SOST-S146 peptides compared to the levels in normal controls, IBD and MBP patients (one way analysis of variance p<0.0001).
This is the first report showing IgG autoantibodies to NOG and SOST in normal individuals, and higher levels of NOG and/or SOST-IgG IC probably contribute to neo-ossification in AS patients. These novel findings hold the promise of earlier diagnosis, better management of AS with comorbidities and new therapeutic approaches to modulate ankylosis in AS.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 07/2013; · 8.11 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To evaluate radiographic progression in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) receiving two different doses of the tumour necrosis factor antagonist golimumab. METHODS: 356 patients with AS were randomly assigned to placebo, or golimumab 50 mg or 100 mg every 4 weeks (wks). At wk16, patients with inadequate response early escaped with blinded dose adjustments (placebo→golimumab 50 mg, 50 mg→100 mg). At wk24, patients still receiving placebo crossed over to golimumab 50 mg. Lateral view radiographs of the cervical/lumbar spine were obtained at wk0, wk104 and wk208, and scored (two blinded readers, modified Stoke AS Spine Score (mSASSS)). Observed data were used for wk104 analyses; missing wk208 scores were linearly extrapolated. RESULTS: Wk104 changes from baseline in mSASSS averaged 1.6±4.6 for placebo crossover, 0.9±2.7 for 50 mg and 0.9±3.9 for 100 mg. By wk208, following golimumab therapy for 3.5-4 years, mean changes in mSASSS were 2.1±5.2 for placebo crossover, 1.3±4.1 for 50 mg and 2.0±5.6 for 100 mg. Less than a third of patients (placebo crossover, 19/66 (28.8%); 50 mg, 29/111 (26.1%); 100 mg, 35/122 (28.7%)) had a definitive change from baseline mSASSS (>2). Less radiographic progression was observed through wk208 in patients without baseline syndesmophytes (0.2 vs 2.8 in patients with ≥1 syndesmophyte; p<0.0001) and with baseline C-reactive protein (CRP) levels ≤1.5 mg/dl (0.9 vs 2.9 with CRP >1.5 mg/dl; p=0.0004). CONCLUSIONS: No difference in mSASSS change was observed between golimumab 50 mg and 100 mg. The radiographic progression rate remained stable at years 2 and 4, suggesting no acceleration of new bone formation over time. Golimumab-treated AS patients with no syndesmophytes and less systemic inflammation at baseline had considerably less radiographic progression.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 05/2013; · 8.11 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ankylosing spondylitis is a common, highly heritable inflammatory arthritis affecting primarily the spine and pelvis. In addition to HLA-B*27 alleles, 12 loci have previously been identified that are associated with ankylosing spondylitis in populations of European ancestry, and 2 associated loci have been identified in Asians. In this study, we used the Illumina Immunochip microarray to perform a case-control association study involving 10,619 individuals with ankylosing spondylitis (cases) and 15,145 controls. We identified 13 new risk loci and 12 additional ankylosing spondylitis-associated haplotypes at 11 loci. Two ankylosing spondylitis-associated regions have now been identified encoding four aminopeptidases that are involved in peptide processing before major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I presentation. Protective variants at two of these loci are associated both with reduced aminopeptidase function and with MHC class I cell surface expression.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) share genetic and clinical features. IBD is associated with the presence of antibodies to a variety of commensal microorganisms including anti-Saccharomyces cerevesiae antibodies (ASCA), antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA), anti-I2 (associated with anti-Pseudomonas activity), anti-Eschericia coli outer membrane porin C (anti-OmpC) and anti-flagellin antibodies (anti-CBir1). Subclinical intestinal inflammation may be present in up to 65% of patients with AS. This study evaluated the presence of antimicrobial antibodies in patients with AS alone, patients with AS and concomitant IBD (AS-IBD) and a control group of patients with mechanical back pain (MBP).
Sera were tested by ELISA for ASCA IgG and IgA, anti-OmpC, anti-CBir1 and ANCA in 76 patients with AS alone, 77 patients with AS-IBD and 48 patients with MBP. Antibody positivity rates, median quantitative antibody levels and the proportion of patients with antibody levels in the 4th quartile of a normal distribution were compared between the three groups of patients.
Patients with AS alone demonstrated higher anti-CBir1 antibody positivity rates and median antibody levels than MBP patients. Anti-CBir1 positivity in AS was associated with elevation of acute phase reactants. AS-IBD patients demonstrated elevated responses when compared to AS alone for ASCA, anti-OmpC and anti-CBir1. Quartile analysis confirmed the findings.
These data suggest that adaptive immune responses to microbial antigens occur in AS patients without clinical IBD and support the theory of mucosal dysregulation as a mechanism underlying the pathophysiology of AS.
Arthritis research & therapy 01/2013; 15(5):R166. · 4.27 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Macrophages can display a number of distinct phenotypes, known collectively as polarized macrophages. The best defined of these phenotypes are the classically-activated, interferon gamma (IFNγ)/LPS induced (M1) and alternatively-activated, IL-4 induced (M2) macrophages. The goal of this study is to characterize macrophage-Chlamydia interactions in the context of macrophage polarization. Here we use Chlamydia muridarum and murine bone-marrow derived macrophages to show Chlamydia does not induce M2 polarization in macrophages as a survival strategy. Unexpectedly, the infection of macrophages was silent with no upregulation of M1 macrophage-associated genes. We further demonstrate that macrophages polarized prior to infection have a differential capacity to control Chlamydia. M1 macrophages harbor up to 40-fold lower inclusion forming units (IFU) than non-polarized or M2 polarized macrophages. Gene expression analysis showed an increase in 16sRNA in M2 macrophages with no change in M1 macrophages. Suppressed Chlamydia growth in M1 macrophages correlated with the induction of a bacterial gene expression profile typical of persistence as evident by increased Euo expression and decreased Omp1 and Tal expression. Observations of permissive Chlamydia growth in non-polarized and M2 macrophages and persistence in M1 macrophages were supported through electron microscopy. This work supports the importance of IFNγ in the innate immune response to Chlamydia. However, demonstration that the M1 macrophages, despite an antimicrobial signature, fail to eliminate intracellular Chlamydia supports the notion that host-pathogen co-evolution has yielded a pathogen that can evade cellular defenses against this pathogen, and persist for prolonged periods of time in the host.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(8):e69421. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective. To compare the abilities of three enthesitis indices to detect improvement in entheseal tenderness with the TNF antagonist golimumab in AS.Methods. Adult patients with active AS were randomly assigned to receive s.c. injections of placebo or golimumab (50 or 100 mg) every 4 weeks. Patients with inadequate week 16 responses were switched (blinded) from placebo to golimumab 50 mg or from golimumab 50 mg to 100 mg. At week 24, all patients still receiving placebo crossed over to golimumab 50 mg. Enthesitis data through week 52 are reported herein. Enthesitis was measured by a trained, independent assessor who recorded the presence or absence of tenderness in 27 entheses, which allowed simultaneous determination of three different indices [12-point Berlin Index, 17-point University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Index and 13-point Maastricht AS Enthesitis Score (MASES)].Results. Three hundred and fifty-six AS patients were randomized to placebo (n = 78), golimumab 50 mg (n = 138) or golimumab 100 mg (n = 140); 355 had enthesitis data available for analysis. Using the UCSF Index, significant improvement from baseline vs placebo was observed for golimumab 100 mg at weeks 14 and 24. Using the MASES, significant improvement for golimumab 100 mg vs placebo at week 14 and a trend toward improvement at week 24 were observed. Using the Berlin Index, significant improvement for golimumab 100 mg vs placebo at week 14 was observed. Effect size determinations for changes to weeks 14, 24 and 52, respectively, in the Berlin (-0.27, -0.34, -0.42), UCSF (-0.44, -0.61, -0.55) and MASES (-0.30, -0.55, -0.39) indices suggested small to moderate effect sizes.Conclusion. In patients with active AS, the UCSF Index appeared most sensitive in detecting the effect of golimumab 100 mg vs placebo on enthesitis.Trial registration. http://www.clinicaltrials.gov, NCT00265083.