[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The presence of rheumatoid factor (RF), anti-carbamylated protein antibodies (anti-CarP) and antibodies against citrullinated protein and peptides (ACPA) precedes the onset of symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) by several years. Relationships between the development of these antibodies are not obvious.
Three isotypes [immunoglobulin A (IgA), IgG and IgM) of RF were analysed in 321 pre-symptomatic individuals who provided 598 samples collected a median of 6.2 (interquartile range 7.2) years before the onset of symptoms, and in 492 population control subjects. All samples were donated to the Biobank of Northern Sweden. RF isotypes were analysed using the EliA system (Phadia GmbH, Freiburg, Germany) with 96 % specificity according to receiver operating characteristic curves. Ten ACPA specificities were analysed using the ImmunoCAP ISAC system, and anti-CCP2 and anti-CarP antibodies were evaluated using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.
The frequencies of RF isotypes in pre-symptomatic individuals were significantly increased compared with control subjects (p < 0.0001). In samples collected ≥15 years before the onset of symptoms, the IgA-RF isotype was significantly more prevalent than the most frequent ACPAs. Combinations of IgM- and IgA-RF isotypes with ACPA specificities [α-enolase (CEP-1/Eno 5–21 )], fibrinogen (Fib)β 36–52 , Fibα 580–600 , filaggrin (CCP-1/Fil 307–324 ) and anti-CCP2 antibodies were associated with a significantly shorter time to onset of symptoms (p < 0.001–0.05). Using conditional inference tree analysis, anti-CCP2 in combination with anti-filaggrin antibodies gave the highest probability, 97.5 %, for disease development.
RF isotypes predicted the development of RA, particularly in combination with ACPA, anti-CCP2 or anti-CarP antibodies. The highest probability for disease development was the presence of anti-CCP2 and anti-filaggrin antibodies.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2016 · Arthritis research & therapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
To investigate the frequency of remaining pain in early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) after three months of treatment with methotrexate (MTX) as the only disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug, with special focus on patients with a good clinical response.
The study base was cases reported to a population-based early RA cohort (EIRA) who had follow-up data from the Swedish Rheumatology Quality Register (n=1241). The DAS28 EULAR response criteria were used to evaluate clinical response to treatment; good (GR), moderate (MR) and no response (NR). The primary endpoint was 'remaining pain' at the three months follow-up visit, defined as pain on a 100 mm visual analog scale above 20 mm (VAS pain >20 mm).
Remaining pain in spite of EULAR good response at follow-up was associated with higher baseline disability (HAQ; adjusted OR 2.2, 95%CI=1.4-3.4 per unit increase) and less baseline inflammation (erythrocyte sedimentation rate, ESR; adjusted OR 0.81; 95%CI=0.70-0.93 per 10 mm increase). Similar associations were detected for remaining pain at follow-up in spite of low inflammatory activity, defined as CRP<10. Increase in VAS pain during the treatment period was observed in 19% of the whole cohort, and with the frequencies in the EULAR response groups of 9% (GR), 15% (MR) and 45% (NR), respectively.
These results are in line with the hypothesis that a subgroup of early RA patients exhibits pain that is not inflammatory mediated where alternative treatment strategies to traditional anti-inflammatory medications need to be considered. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose of review:
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is not a homogenous disease entity but a syndrome with different causes and abnormalities with shared clinical manifestations. One major subset is anticitrullinated protein antibody (ACPA)-positive RA, which represents the larger fraction of RA patients and where autoantibodies and HLA class II association implicate an autoimmune condition. In the past few years, the specificity of the ACPA response and the possibility to subdivide patients based on ACPA subgroups have received much attention whereas the effector functions of the autoantibodies and underlying lymphocytes have not.
The review, based on HLA, will discuss the generation of the autoreactive citrulline-specific T-cell repertoire, highlight our current understanding of T-cell specificities and effector functions of both the T cells and ACPAs.
Dividing RA into subsets has only influenced clinical practice to a limited degree, that is, by indicating a better response to therapies modulating adaptive immunity, such as rituximab, in the ACPA+ disease subset. A more detailed understanding of the immune reactions underlying various subsets of RA may, however, change our view on RA therapeutics and prevention with the assumption that autoimmune variants of RA should be both curable and preventable.
No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Current Opinion in Rheumatology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory syndrome with a strong autoimmune component. The autoantigens in RA are neither tissue nor organ-specific, but comprise a broad collection of post-translational modified proteins, such as citrullinated proteins. These modifications are likely to be triggered by innate stimuli. In genetically susceptible hosts, they can lead to a more substantiated secondary autoimmune reaction targeting the joints and precipitating the clinical onset of RA. Both innate and adaptive mechanisms will then closely interplay to promote chronic joint inflammation in the several absence of appropriate treatment. This scenario, is shared with other autoimmune diseases where potentially pathogenic immune responses are present already before disease onset. Better understanding of these processes will allow both earlier diagnosis of RA and identification of those healthy individuals that are at risk of developing disease, opening possibilities for disease prevention. In this review, we discuss the iterative processes of innate and adaptive immunity responsible for the (longitudinal) development of immune reactions that may contribute to the development of RA.
No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Immunological Reviews
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
Antibodies against citrullinated collagen type II (Cit-CII) are common in sera and synovial fluids of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) patients, whereas the known CII T cell epitope is not dependent on citrullination. This study aimed to identify and functionally characterize Cit-CII restricted T cell epitopes relevant to RA.
PBMCs from HLA-DRB1*10:01 positive RA patients and healthy donors were in vitro stimulated with candidate CII peptides. CD154 up-regulation was measured as a marker of antigen-specific activation and anti-HLA-DR blocking experiments confirmed HLA restriction. Cytokine production was measured by Luminex technology. Direct peptide binding assays using HLA-DRB1*10:01 and *04:01 monomeric proteins were performed. The T cell receptor (TCR) β chain of CD154-enriched antigen-specific T cells was sequenced with high-throughput sequencing.
A novel citrullinated CII peptide was identified based on its ability to activate CD4+ T cells from HLA-DRB1*10:01 individuals. When stimulated in vitro, Cit-CII autoreactive T cells produced pro-inflammatory cytokines. Cit-CII(311-325) binds with low affinity to HLA-DRB1*10:01 but not to HLA-DRB1*04:01 while the native version was unable to bind either protein. Finally, Highly Expanded Clones (HECs) were identified in the TCRβ repertoire of Cit-CII(311-325) stimulated PBMCs.
These results illustrate the ability of the citrullination process to create T cell epitopes from CII, a cartilage-restricted protein relevant to RA pathogenesis. The exclusive binding of Cit-CII(311-325) to HLA-DRB1*10:01 suggests that recognition of citrullinated epitopes might vary between individuals carrying different RA-associated HLA-DR molecules. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Arthritis and Rheumatology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives:
Lung exposures including cigarette smoking and silica exposure are associated with the risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We investigated the association between textile dust exposure and the risk of RA in the Malaysian population, with a focus on women who rarely smoke.
Data from the Malaysian Epidemiological Investigation of Rheumatoid Arthritis population-based case-control study involving 910 female early RA cases and 910 female age-matched controls were analysed. Self-reported information on ever/never occupationally exposed to textile dust was used to estimate the risk of developing anti-citrullinated protein antibody (ACPA)-positive and ACPA-negative RA. Interaction between textile dust and the human leucocyte antigen DR β-1 (HLA-DRB1) shared epitope (SE) was evaluated by calculating the attributable proportion due to interaction (AP), with 95% CI.
Occupational exposure to textile dust was significantly associated with an increased risk of developing RA in the Malaysian female population (OR 2.8, 95% CI 1.6 to 5.2). The association between occupational exposure to textile dust and risk of RA was uniformly observed for the ACPA-positive RA (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.3 to 4.8) and ACPA-negative RA (OR 3.5, 95% CI 1.7 to 7.0) subsets, respectively. We observed a significant interaction between exposure to occupational textile dust and HLA-DRB1 SE alleles regarding the risk of ACPA-positive RA (OR for double exposed: 39.1, 95% CI 5.1 to 297.5; AP: 0.8, 95% CI 0.5 to 1.2).
This is the first study demonstrating that textile dust exposure is associated with an increased risk for RA. In addition, a gene-environment interaction between HLA-DRB1 SE and textile dust exposure provides a high risk for ACPA-positive RA.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Annals of the rheumatic diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The presence of a new autoantibody system, anti-carbamylated protein (anti-CarP) antibodies, has been identified in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The presence of anti-CarP antibodies was evaluated in samples taken from individuals who subsequently developed RA before and after onset of symptoms and related to previously analysed antibodies against citrullinated peptides (ACPA specificities) and anti-CCP2.
A total of 252 individuals, with 423 samples from before onset of symptoms of RA, and 197 population controls were identified as donors to the Medical Biobank of Northern Sweden; 192 of them were also sampled at the time of diagnosis. All samples were analysed for anti-CarP IgG and anti-CCP2 antibodies using ELISAs. Ten different antibody reactivities against citrullinated antigens (ACPA specificities) were analysed using a custom-made microarray based on the ImmunoCAP ISAC system (Phadia).
The concentration of anti-CarP antibodies was significantly increased in the pre-symptomatic individuals compared with controls (P <0.001) and also increased significantly after disease onset (P <0.001). The sensitivity for anti-CarP antibodies in the pre-symptomatic individuals was 13.9% (95% CI: 11 to 17.6) and 42.2% (95% CI: 35.4 to 49.3) following development of RA. Anti-CarP antibody positivity was found in 5.1% to 13.3% of individuals negative for anti-CCP2 or ACPA specificities. Presence of anti-CarP antibodies was significantly related to radiological destruction at baseline, at 24 months and also to radiological change (P <0.05, all).
The results indicate that anti-CarP antibodies are associated with disease development, even after adjusting for the presence of different ACPA fine specificities, and in anti-CCP2 negative individuals and contribute to the identification of a subset of patients with worse radiological progression of the disease independent of ACPA.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Arthritis Research & Therapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) it has been observed that during pregnancy a majority of patients experience amelioration, but after delivery a relapse of the disease is common. However, there are few studies, with diverging results, addressing the effect of parity on the severity of RA over time. Our aim was to explore the impact of parity, with stratification for anti-citrullinated protein antibody (ACPA) status as well as for onset during reproductive age or not.
Female RA cases aged 18–70 years were recruited for the Epidemiological Investigation of Rheumatoid Arthritis (EIRA). Information on disease severity (the health assessment questionnaire (HAQ) and the disease activity score 28 (DAS28)) was retrieved from the Swedish Rheumatology Quality Register at inclusion and 3, 6, 12 and 24 months after diagnosis. Mixed models were used to compare mean DAS28 and HAQ scores over time in parous and nulliparous women. Mean differences at individual follow-up visits were compared using analysis of covariance. The odds of having DAS28 or HAQ above the median in parous verus nulliparous women were estimated in logistic regression models.
A total of 1237 female cases (mean age 51 years, 65 % ACPA-positive) were included. ACPA-negative parous women, aged 18–44 years, had on average 1.17 units higher DAS28 (p < 0.001) and 0.43 units higher HAQ score (p < 0.001) compared to nulliparous women during the follow-up time, adjusted for age. In this subgroup, the average DAS28 and HAQ scores were significantly higher in parous women at all follow-up time points. Younger parous ACPA-negative women were significantly more likely to have DAS28 and HAQ values above the median compared to nulliparous women at all follow-up visits. No association between parity and severity of ACPA-positive disease was observed.
Parity was a predictor of a more severe RA among ACPA-negative younger women, which might indicate that immunomodulatory changes during and after pregnancy affect RA severity, in particular for the ACPA-negative RA phenotype.
Preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Arthritis Research & Therapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives:
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)-specific anti-citrullinated protein/peptide antibodies (ACPAs) appear before disease onset and are associated with bone destruction. We aimed to dissect the role of ACPAs in osteoclast (OC) activation and to identify key cellular mediators in this process.
Polyclonal ACPA were isolated from the synovial fluid (SF) and peripheral blood of patients with RA. Monoclonal ACPAs were isolated from single SF B-cells of patients with RA. OCs were developed from blood cell precursors with or without ACPAs. We analysed expression of citrullinated targets and peptidylarginine deiminases (PAD) enzymes by immunohistochemistry and cell supernatants by cytometric bead array. The effect of an anti-interleukin (IL)-8 neutralising antibody and a pan-PAD inhibitor was tested in the OC cultures. Monoclonal ACPAs were injected into mice and bone structure was analysed by micro-CT before and after CXCR1/2 blocking with reparixin.
Protein citrullination by PADs is essential for OC differentiation. Polyclonal ACPAs enhance OC differentiation through a PAD-dependent IL-8-mediated autocrine loop that is completely abolished by IL-8 neutralisation. Some, but not all, human monoclonal ACPAs derived from single SF B-cells of patients with RA and exhibiting distinct epitope specificities promote OC differentiation in cell cultures. Transfer of the monoclonal ACPAs into mice induced bone loss that was completely reversed by the IL-8 antagonist reparixin.
We provide novel insights into the key role of citrullination and PAD enzymes during OC differentiation and ACPA-induced OC activation. Our findings suggest that IL8-dependent OC activation may constitute an early event in the initiation of the joint specific inflammation in ACPA-positive RA.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction:
Whether low socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with worse rheumatoid arthritis (RA) outcomes in countries with general tax-financed healthcare systems (such as Sweden) remains to be elucidated. Our aim was to investigate the influence of educational background (achieving university/college degree (high) or not (low)) on the outcomes of early RA, in terms of disease activity (DAS28), pain (VAS-pain), and functional impairment (HAQ).
We evaluated DMARD-naïve RA patients recruited in the Epidemiological Investigation of RA (EIRA) study with outcomes followed in the Swedish Rheumatology Quality (SRQ) register (N = 3021). Outcomes were categorized in three ways: 1) scores equal to/above median vs. below median; 2) DAS28-based low disease activity, good response, remission; 3) scores decreased over the median vs. less than median. Associations between educational background and outcomes were calculated by modified Poisson regressions, at diagnosis and at each of the three standard (3, 6, 12 months) follow-up visits.
Patients with different educational background had similar symptom durations (195 days) and anti-rheumatic therapies at baseline, and comparable treatment patterns during follow-up. Patients with a high education level had significantly less pain and less functional disability at baseline and throughout the whole follow-up period (VAS-pain: baseline: 49 (28-67) vs. 53 (33-71), p <0.0001; 1-year visit: RR = 0.81 (95 % CI 0.73-0.90). HAQ: baseline: 0.88 (0.50-1.38) vs. 1.00 (0.63-1.50), p = 0.001; 1-year visit: 0.84 (0.77-0.92)). They also had greater chances to achieve pain remission (VAS-pain ≤20) after one year (1.17 (1.07-1.28)). Adjustments for smoking and BMI altered the results only marginally. Educational background did not influence DAS28-based outcomes.
In Sweden, with tax-financed, generally accessible healthcare system, RA patients with a high education level experienced less pain and less functional disability. Further, these patients achieved pain remission more often during the first year receiving standard care. Importantly, education background affected neither time to referral to rheumatologists, disease activity nor anti-rheumatic treatments.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Arthritis research & therapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
An interesting and so far unexplained feature of chronic pain in autoimmune disease is the frequent disconnect between pain and inflammation. This is illustrated well in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) where pain in joints (arthralgia) may precede joint inflammation and persist even after successful anti-inflammatory treatment. In the present study, we have addressed the possibility that autoantibodies against citrullinated proteins (ACPA), present in RA, may be directly responsible for the induction of pain, independent of inflammation.
Antibodies purified from human patients with RA, healthy donors and murinised monoclonal ACPA were injected into mice. Pain-like behaviour was monitored for up to 28 days, and tissues were analysed for signs of pathology. Mouse osteoclasts were cultured and stimulated with antibodies, and supernatants analysed for release of factors. Mice were treated with CXCR1/2 (interleukin (IL) 8 receptor) antagonist reparixin.
Mice injected with either human or murinised ACPA developed long-lasting pronounced pain-like behaviour in the absence of inflammation, while non-ACPA IgG from patients with RA or control monoclonal IgG were without pronociceptive effect. This effect was coupled to ACPA-mediated activation of osteoclasts and release of the nociceptive chemokine CXCL1 (analogue to human IL-8). ACPA-induced pain-like behaviour was reversed with reparixin.
The data suggest that CXCL1/IL-8, released from osteoclasts in an autoantibody-dependent manner, produces pain by activating sensory neurons. The identification of this new pain pathway may open new avenues for pain treatment in RA and also in other painful diseases associated with autoantibody production and/or osteoclast activation.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives:
A recent study identified 16 genetic variants associated with N-glycosylation of human IgG. Several of the genomic regions where these single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) reside have also been associated with autoimmune disease (AID) susceptibility, suggesting there may be pleiotropy (genetic sharing) between loci controlling both N-glycosylation and AIDs. We investigated this by testing variants associated with levels of IgG N-glycosylation for association with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) susceptibility using a Mendelian randomisation study, and testing a subset of these variants in a less well-powered study of treatment response and severity.
SNPs showing association with IgG N-glycosylation were analysed for association with RA susceptibility in 14 361 RA cases and 43 923 controls. Five SNPs were tested for association with response to anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF) therapy in 1081 RA patient samples and for association with radiological disease severity in 342 patients.
Only one SNP (rs9296009) associated with N-glycosylation showed an association (p=6.92×10(-266)) with RA susceptibility, although this was due to linkage disequilibrium with causal human leukocyte antigen (HLA) variants. Four regions of the genome harboured SNPs associated with both traits (shared loci); although statistical analysis indicated that the associations observed for the two traits are independent. No SNPs showed association with response to anti-TNF therapy. One SNP rs12342831 was modestly associated with Larsen score (p=0.05).
In a large, well-powered cohort of RA patients, we show SNPs driving levels of N-glycosylation have no association with RA susceptibility, indicating colocalisation of associated SNPs are not necessarily indicative of a shared genetic background or a role for glycosylation in disease susceptibility.
Preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Annals of the rheumatic diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
To investigate the gene-environment interaction between smoking and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), using Immunochip material, on the risk of developing either of two serologically defined subsets of RA.
Interaction between smoking and 133 648 genetic markers from the Immunochip was examined for two RA subsets, defined by the presence or absence of ACPA. A total of 1590 ACPA-positive and 891 ACPA-negative cases were compared with 1856 controls in the Swedish Epidemiological Investigation of RA (EIRA) case-control study. Logistic regression models were used to determine the presence of interaction. The proportion attributable to interaction was calculated for each smoking-SNP pair. Replication was carried out in an independent dataset from northern Sweden. To further validate and extend the results, interaction analysis was also performed using genome-wide association studies data on EIRA individuals.
In ACPA-positive RA, 102 SNPs interacted significantly with smoking, after Bonferroni correction. All 102 SNPs were located in the HLA region, mainly within the HLA class II region, 51 of which were replicated. No additional loci outside chromosome 6 were identified in the genome-wide association studies validation. After adjusting for HLA-DRB1 shared epitope, 15 smoking-SNP pairs remained significant for ACPA-positive RA, with 8 of these replicated (loci: BTNL2, HLA-DRA, HLA-DRB5, HLA-DQA1, HLA-DOB and TAP2). For ACPA-negative RA, no smoking-SNP pairs passed the threshold for significance.
Our study presents extended gene variation patterns involved in gene-smoking interaction in ACPA-positive, but not ACPA-negative, RA. Notably, variants in HLA-DRB1 and those in additional genes within the MHC class II region, but not in any other gene regions, showed interaction with smoking.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Rheumatology (Oxford, England)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes confer substantial risk for autoimmune diseases on a log-additive scale. Here we speculated that differences in autoantigen-binding repertoires between a heterozygote's two expressed HLA variants might result in additional non-additive risk effects. We tested the non-additive disease contributions of classical HLA alleles in patients and matched controls for five common autoimmune diseases: rheumatoid arthritis (ncases = 5,337), type 1 diabetes (T1D; ncases = 5,567), psoriasis vulgaris (ncases = 3,089), idiopathic achalasia (ncases = 727) and celiac disease (ncases = 11,115). In four of the five diseases, we observed highly significant, non-additive dominance effects (rheumatoid arthritis, P = 2.5 × 10(-12); T1D, P = 2.4 × 10(-10); psoriasis, P = 5.9 × 10(-6); celiac disease, P = 1.2 × 10(-87)). In three of these diseases, the non-additive dominance effects were explained by interactions between specific classical HLA alleles (rheumatoid arthritis, P = 1.8 × 10(-3); T1D, P = 8.6 × 10(-27); celiac disease, P = 6.0 × 10(-100)). These interactions generally increased disease risk and explained moderate but significant fractions of phenotypic variance (rheumatoid arthritis, 1.4%; T1D, 4.0%; celiac disease, 4.1%) beyond a simple additive model.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously identified endogenously citrullinated peptides derived from fibrinogen in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) synovial tissues. In this study, we have investigated the auto-antigenicity of four of those citrullinated peptides and explored their feasibility to target anti-citrullinated protein/peptide antibodies (ACPA).
The autoantigenic potential of the fibrinogen peptides was investigated by screening 927 serum samples from the Epidemiological Investigation of RA (EIRA) cohort on a peptide microarray based on the ImmunoCAP ISAC® system. In order to assay for ACPA blocking, two independent pools of purified ACPA were incubated with the respective targeting peptide prior binding to CCP2 utilizing the CCPlus® ELISA kit.
Two peptides derived from the fibrinogen α chain, Arg573Cit (563-583), and Arg591Cit (580-600), referred to as Cit573 and Cit591, and two peptides from the fibrinogen β chain, Arg72Cit (62-81), and Arg74Cit (62-81) (Cit72 and Cit74) displayed 65 %, 15 %, 35 % and 53 % of immune reactivity among CCP2 positive RA sera, respectively. In CCP2 negative RA sera, a positive reactivity was detected in 5 % (Cit573), 6 % (Cit591), 8 % (Cit72) and 4 % (Cit74). In the competition assay, Cit573 and Cit591 peptides reduced ACPA binding to CCP2 with a maximum of 84 % and 63 % respectively. An additive effect was observed when these peptides were combined. In contrast, Cit74 and Cit72 were less effective. Cyclization of the peptide structure containing Cit573 significantly increased the blocking efficiency.
Here we demonstrate extensive autoantibody reactivity against in vivo citrullinated fibrinogen epitopes, and further show the potential use of these peptides for antagonizing ACPA.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Arthritis research & therapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
Human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-DRB1*13 alleles are associated with protection from anticitrullinated protein antibody (ACPA)-positive rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It is, however, unknown at which phase of disease development (seroconversion, ACPA maturation, disease onset or outcome) these alleles are most important. We therefore examined the effect of HLA-DRB1*13 on: ACPA presence (systemic autoimmunity associated with RA) in individuals with and without RA, on ACPA characteristics and on clinical outcome measures.
The effect of HLA-DRB1*13 on ACPA presence in subjects with or without RA (non-RA) was assessed in the Swedish twin registry (n=10 748). ACPA characteristics were studied in patients with ACPA-positive RA from the Swedish Epidemiological Investigation of RA (EIRA, n=1224) and the Dutch Leiden Early Arthritis Clinic (EAC, n=441). Disease activity at inclusion and disease outcome (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARD)-free sustained remission and radiographic progression) was assessed in patients with RA from the EAC.
HLA-DRB1*13 is associated with protection from ACPA-positive RA (prevalence 16% vs 28% in ACPA-negative non-RA), but not with significant protection from ACPA in individuals without RA (prevalence: 22%, p value 0.09). HLA-DRB1*13 is associated with lower ACPA-levels (EIRA: 447 U/ml versus 691 U/ml, p value= 0.0002) and decreased citrullinated epitope recognition (EIRA: p<0.0001). No association between HLA-DRB1*13 and disease activity or outcome was found.
These data indicate that HLA-DRB1*13 mainly affects the onset of ACPA-positive RA in ACPA-positive non-RA individuals. In RA, HLA-DRB1*13 influences ACPA characteristics but not the disease course. This implies that therapeutic strategies aimed at emulating the HLA-DBR1*13 protective effect may be most effective in ACPA-positive healthy individuals at risk for RA.
No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It has previously been shown that an increased number of antibodies against citrullinated peptides/proteins (ACPA) predate the onset of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Over time antibody positivity expands, involving more specific responses when approaching the onset of symptoms. We investigated the impact of human leukocyte antigen-shared epitope (HLA-SE) alleles and smoking on the development of ACPA, as well as in combination with ACPA during the state of quiescent autoimmunity (before the onset of symptoms), on the development of RA.
Blood samples donated to the Medical Biobank of Northern Sweden from individuals prior to the onset of symptoms of RA (n = 370) and after onset (n = 203) and from population-based controls (n = 585) were used. Antibodies against 10 citrullinated peptides, fibrinogen (Fibα561-583, α580-600, ß62-81a, ß62-81b, ß36-52), vimentin (Vim2-17, 60-75), filaggrin (CCP-1/Fil307-324), α-enolase (CEP-1/Eno5-21), collagen type II (citC1359-369), and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP)2 antibodies were analysed.
HLA-SE-positive individuals were more frequently positive for ACPA compared with HLA-SE-negative individuals prior to the onset of symptoms of RA, particularly for antibodies against CEP-1 and Fibß62-81a (72). Smoking was associated with antibodies against Vim2-17 and citC1359-369. HLA-SE and smoking showed increasing association to the presence of the antibodies closer to disease onset. The highest odds ratio (OR) for development of RA was for the combination of HLA-SE alleles and ACPA positivity, especially for antibodies against Fibß62-81b, CCP-1/Fil307-324, and Fibβ36-52. A gene-environment additive interaction between smoking and HLA-SE alleles for the risk of disease development was found, with the highest OR for individuals positive for antibodies against Fibβ36-52, CEP-1, and Fibα580-600.
The relationships between antibodies against the different ACPA specificities, HLA-SE, and smoking showed a variable pattern in individuals prior to the onset of RA. The combination of smoking and HLA-SE alleles was significantly associated with the development of some of the antibody specificities closer to onset of symptoms, and these associations remained significant at diagnosis. An additive gene-environment interaction was found for several of the antibodies for the development of RA.
Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Arthritis Research & Therapy