Johan Rönnelid

Uppsala University, Uppsala, Uppsala, Sweden

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Publications (122)695.95 Total impact

  • Amir I. Elshafie · Mohammed Mullazehi · Johan Rönnelid
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    ABSTRACT: Leishmaniasis is a neglected disease in tropical countries. Clinical and laboratory features may mimic autoimmune diseases and this can complicate the Leishmania diagnosis. Due to our previous investigation for false anti-CCP2 reactivity in Leishmania-infected subjects and our interest in immunity against the joint-specific collagen type II (CII) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) we investigated the same cohort for anti-CII antibodies. We found elevated anti-CII reactivity in Leishmania-infected patients as compared to controls. When anti-CII OD values were compared with BSA-blocked control plates we found higher reactivity against BSA than in CII-coated plates in many Leishmania-infected patients. The percentage of such false positive anti-CII reactions increased with inflammatory activity, and was found in almost all Leishmania patients with highly active inflammatory disease, but was as low in Sudanese healthy controls as well as among Swedish RA patients. The correlation coefficients between false positive anti-CII and anti-CCP2 measured with a commercial ELISA was highest for patients with the most inflammatory disease but non-significant for Sudanese controls and Swedish RA patients, arguing that our findings may have general implications for ELISA measurements in leishmaniasis. ELISA investigations in areas endemic for leishmaniasis might benefit from individual-specific control wells for each serum sample. This approach might also be applicable to other geographical areas or patient groups with high incidence of inflammatory and infectious diseases.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Journal of immunological methods
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    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
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies indicate a central role for the IL-23/IL-17 axis in the pathogenesis of lupus nephritis (LN) but the importance in the context of treatment outcome is unknown. We studied various cytokines, including the IL-23/IL-17 axis, in association to histopathology and response to therapy. Fifty-two patients with active LN were included. Renal biopsies were performed at baseline and after immunosuppressive treatment. Serum levels of TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-6, IL-10, IL-17, IL-23 and TGF-β were analysed at both biopsy occasions and in 13 healthy controls. IL-17 expression in renal tissue was assessed by immunohistochemistry. Biopsies were evaluated regarding WHO-classification and renal disease activity was estimated using the BILAG-index. Improvement of 2 grades in renal BILAG was regarded complete response, and 1 grade partial response. At baseline, all patients had high disease activity (BILAG A/B). Baseline levels of IL-6, IL-10, IL-17, IL-23 (p < 0.001) and IFN-γ (p = 0.03) were increased in patients vs. controls. In contrast, TGF-β was lower in patients compared to controls (p < 0.001). Baseline levels of IL-17 were higher in patients with persisting active nephritis (WHO III, IV, V) after treatment, i.e. a poor histological response, vs. WHO I-II (p < 0.03). At follow-up, IL-23 were higher in BILAG-non-responders vs. responders (p < 0.05). Immunostaining of renal tissue revealed IL-17 expression in inflammatory infiltrates. High baseline IL-17 predicted an unfavourable histopathological response, and BILAG-non-responders had high IL-23, indicating that that a subset of LN-patients has a Th-17 phenotype that may influence response to treatment and could be evaluated as a biomarker for poor therapeutic response.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2015 · BMC Immunology
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    ABSTRACT: Circulating antinuclear antibodies (ANA) are commonly present in the systemic autoimmune disease Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) and in other systemic rheumatic diseases, in humans as well as in dogs. The indirect immunofluorescence (IIF)-ANA test is the standard method for detecting ANA. Further testing for specific ANA with immunoblot techniques or ELISAs is routinely performed in humans to aid in the diagnosis and monitoring of disease. Several specific ANA identified in humans have been identified also in suspected canine SLE but, in contrast to humans, investigation of autoantibodies in canine SLE is mainly restricted to the IIF-ANA test. Our aim was to identify both known and novel specific ANA in dogs and to investigate if different IIF-ANA patterns are associated with different specific ANA in dogs. Sera from 240 dogs with suspicion of autoimmune disease (210 IIF-ANA positive (ANA(pos)) and 30 IIF-ANA negative (ANA(neg))) as well as sera from 27 healthy controls were included. The samples were analysed with a line immunoassay, LIA (Euroline ANA Profile 5, Euroimmun, Lübeck, Germany) and four different ELISAs (Euroimmun). The ANA(pos) dogs were divided in two groups depending on the type of IIF-ANA pattern. Of the 210 ANA(pos) samples 68 were classified as ANA homogenous (ANA(H)) and 141 as ANA speckled (ANA(S)), one sample was not possible to classify. Dogs in the ANA(H) group had, compared to the other groups, most frequently high levels of anti-double stranded deoxyribonucleic acid (dsDNA) and anti-nucleosome ANA. Anti-dsDNA antibodies were confirmed in some dogs with the Crithidia luciliae indirect immunofluorescence test (CLIFT). The frequency of ANA(H) dogs with values above those observed in the healthy group was significantly higher compared to ANA(S) dogs for anti-dsDNA, anti-nucleosome, and anti-histone reactivity. Dogs in the ANA(S) group had, compared to the other groups, most frequently high levels of anti-ribonucleoproteins (RNP) and/or anti-Smith (Sm) antibodies. Reactivity against Sjögren's syndrome related antigens (SS)-A (including the Ro-60 and Ro-52 subcomponents), SS-B, histidyl tRNA synthetase (Jo-1), topoisomerase I antigen (Scl-70), polymyositis-scleroderma antigen (PM-Scl) and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) was also noted in individual dogs. In conclusion, by using a commercial LIA and different ELISAs originally developed for detection of human ANA, we identified several specific ANA in serum samples from dogs sampled for IIF-ANA testing. Further, we found that the types of IIF-ANA pattern were associated with reactivity against some particular nuclear antigens.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
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    Johan Rönnelid
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    ABSTRACT: During the last 25 years, clinical autoantibody determinations have changed dramatically. Old and slow techniques with high diagnostic specificity have been replaced with automated and faster techniques that most often have a higher diagnostic sensitivity at the expense of a lower diagnostic specificity. Newer techniques are mostly quantitative, allowing for follow-up of autoantibody levels. Whereas the older procedures utilized autoantigens in soluble and native states, most modern techniques rely on autoantigens attached to surfaces, with the risk of exposure of denatured epitopes. Comparisons between antibody measurement techniques can be obtained from the results of external quality assessment programs. As the main objective for external quality assessment is the monitoring of clinical laboratories, they cannot focus on the kind of low-level and often polyreactive sera, which are common in the real world and in which a single definite target response cannot be easily defined. Such common sera are very useful, however, for analysis of differences between autoantibody measurement techniques. The European Consensus Finding Study Group on Autoantibodies has been working with this approach for 28 years.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Frontiers in Immunology
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    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
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    ABSTRACT: Cathepsin S and cathepsin L are endosomal proteolytic enzymes involved in the degradation of extracellular matrixes, angiogenesis and antigen presentation. Cathepsins could thus play several roles in the disease process of RA. The aim of this study was to examine differences in cathepsin S and cathepsin L levels in serum and SF of RA patients with and without ACPA and RF. In this study 121 patients with RA and clinical signs of knee synovitis were recruited. Patient characteristics were collected and matched samples of serum and SF were analysed for cathepsin S, cathepsin L, ACPA, IgA and IgM RF, CRP and MMP3. SF levels of cathepsin L, cathepsin S and MMP3 were significantly higher than in serum. Serum levels of both cathepsins were significantly higher in patients with ACPA, IgM-RF and IgA-RF compared with patients without these antibodies. SF levels of both cathepsins correlated with DAS28 and CRP in ACPA- and RF-positive but not in seronegative patients. The differences in cathepsin S and cathepsin L between RA patients with and without autoantibodies indicate that these cathepsins have a specific role in the disease process of seropositive RA. In this phenotype, cathepsin serum levels may reflect the autoimmune activity, whereas the levels in SF may reflect the local inflammatory and matrix degrading process in the joint. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Rheumatology. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Rheumatology (Oxford, England)
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    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
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    ABSTRACT: 21-Hydroxylase autoantibodies (21OHAb) are markers of an adrenal autoimmune process that identifies individuals with autoimmune Addison's disease (AAD). Quality and inter-laboratory agreement of various 21OHAb tests are incompletely known. The objective of the study was to determine inter-laboratory concordance for 21OHAb determinations. Sixty-nine sera from 51 patients with AAD and 51 sera from 51 healthy subjects were blindly coded by a randomization center and distributed to 14 laboratories that determined 21OHAb, either by an "in-house" assay (n=9) using in vitro-translated 35S-21OH or luciferase-labeled 21OH or a commercial kit with 125I-21OH (n=5). Main outcome measures were diagnostic accuracy of each participating laboratory and inter-laboratory agreement of 21OHAb assays. Intra-assay coefficient of variation ranged from 2.6% to 5.3% for laboratories using the commercial kit and from 5.1% to 23% for laboratories using "in-house" assays. Diagnostic accuracy, expressed as area under ROC curve (AUC), varied from 0.625 to 0.947 with the commercial kit and from 0.562 to 0.978 with "in-house" methods. Cohen's κ of inter-rater agreement was 0.603 among all 14 laboratories, 0.691 among "in-house" laboratories, and 0.502 among commercial kit users. Optimized cutoff levels, calculated on the basis of AUCs, increased the diagnostic accuracy of every laboratory (AUC >0.9 for 11/14 laboratories) and increased the Cohen's κ of inter-rater agreement. Discrepancies in quantitation of 21OHAb levels among different laboratories increased with increasing autoantibody levels. The quality of 21OHAb analytical procedures is mainly influenced by selection of cutoff value and correct handling of assay materials. A standardization program is needed to identify common standard sera and common measuring units.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Analysis of antibodies against dsDNA is an important diagnostic tool for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and changes in anti-dsDNA antibody levels are also used to assess disease activity. Herein, 4 assays were compared with regard to SLE specificity, sensitivity, and association with disease activity variables. Cross-sectional sera from 178 patients with SLE, of which 11 were followed consecutively, from a regional Swedish SLE register were analyzed for immunoglobulin G (IgG) anti-dsDNA by bead-based multiplex assay (FIDIS; Theradig), fluoroenzyme-immunoassay (EliA; Phadia/Thermo Fisher Scientific), Crithidia luciliae immunofluorescence test (CLIFT; ImmunoConcepts), and line blot (EUROLINE; Euroimmun). All patients with SLE fulfilled the 1982 American College of Rheumatology and/or the 2012 Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics (SLICC-12) classification criteria. Healthy individuals (n = 100), patients with rheumatoid arthritis (n = 95), and patients with primary Sjögren syndrome (n = 54) served as controls. CLIFT had the highest SLE specificity (98%) whereas EliA had the highest sensitivity (35%). When cutoff levels for FIDIS, EliA, and EUROLINE were adjusted according to SLICC-12 (i.e., double the reference limit when using ELISA), the specificity and sensitivity of FIDIS was comparable to CLIFT. FIDIS and CLIFT also showed the highest concordance (84%). FIDIS performed best regarding association with disease activity in cross-sectional and consecutive samples. Fisher's exact test revealed striking differences between methods regarding associations with certain disease phenotypes. CLIFT remains a good choice for diagnostic purposes, but FIDIS performs equally well when the cutoff is adjusted according to SLICC-12. Based on results from cross-sectional and consecutive analyses, FIDIS can also be recommended to monitor disease activity.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · The Journal of Rheumatology
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients with autoantibodies against collagen type II (CII) are characterized by acute RA onset with elevated inflammatory measures and early joint erosions as well as increased production of tumor necrosis factor-¿ (¿¿F-¿) by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) stimulated by anti-CII immune complexes (IC) in vitro. Polymorphonuclear granulocytes (PMN) are abundant in RA synovial fluids, where they might interact directly with anti-CII IC in the articular cartilage, but no studies have investigated PMN responses towards anti-CII IC. The aim was to investigate whether PMN react towards anti-CII IC, and to what extent such reactivity might relate to the clinical acute onset RA phenotype associated with elevated levels of anti-CII. Methods PMN and PBMC isolated from healthy donors were stimulated with IC made with a set of 72 baseline patient sera (24 anti-CII positive, 48 anti-CII negative) chosen from a clinically well-characterized RA cohort with two-year radiological follow-up with Larsen scoring. PMN expression of cluster of differentiation (CD)11b, CD66b, CD16 and CD32 was measured by flow cytometry, whereas PMN production of myeloperoxidase (MPO) and interleukin (IL)-17, and PBMC production of ¿¿F-¿ was measured with enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. Results PMN expression of CD11b, CD66b and MPO, and PBMC production of ¿¿F-¿ were upregulated whereas PMN expression of CD16 and CD32 were downregulated by anti-CII IC. CD16, CD66b, and MPO production correlated to serum anti-CII levels (Spearman¿s ¿¿=¿0.315, 0.675 and 0.253, respectively). CD16 was associated with early joint erosions (P¿=¿0.024, 0.034, 0.046 at baseline, one and two years) and CD66b was associated with changes in joint erosions (P¿=¿0.017 and 0.016, at one and two years compared to baseline, respectively). CD66b was associated with baseline C-reactive protein and PBMC production of ¿¿F-¿ was associated with baseline erythrocyte sedimentation rate, in accordance with our earlier findings. No clinical associations were observed for MPO or IL-17. Conclusion PMN responses against anti-CII IC are more closely associated with early joint erosions than are PBMC cytokine responses. PMN reactivity against anti-CII IC may contribute to joint destruction in newly diagnosed RA patients with high levels of anti-CII.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Arthritis Research & Therapy
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    ABSTRACT: African patients with Leishmania donovani infections have signs of strong systemic inflammation and high levels of circulating immune complexes (IC) and rheumatoid factor (RF), all serologic markers of rheumatic disease. As inflammation in general is associated with citrullination, we sought to investigate ACPA responses in Sudanese Leishmania patients. Serum samples were collected from Sudanese visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and post-kala azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) patients as well as from ACPA-positive Sudanese rheumatoid arthritis patients, and compared to healthy Sudanese controls. Levels of circulating C1q-binding IC and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP)2 were investigated using ELISA and RF was measured with nephelometry. C1q adsorbtion was carried out to investigate anti-CCP2 content in IC. Citrulline specificity was evaluated with control plates with cyclic arginine-containing control peptides. Leishmania-infected patients had elevated levels of RF and circulating IC but also a significant increase in anti-CCP2 (12%) as compared to healthy controls. Anti-CCP2 positive Leishmania patients displayed lower anti-CCP2 levels than Sudanese RA patients, and anti-CCP2 levels in Leishmania patients showed a continuum not resembling the dichotomous pattern seen in RA patients. Whereas the anti CCP reactivity of Sudanese RA sera was strictly citrulline dependent, anti-CCP2 positive Leishmania sera reacted equally well with ELISA plates containing arginine control peptides. There was a strong correlation between anti-CCP2 and circulating IC among the Leishmania patients, but IC depletion only marginally diminished anti-CCP2 levels.Our findings stress the importance to interpret a positive CCP test carefully when evaluated in non-rheumatic conditions associated with macrophage activation.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Scandinavian Journal of Immunology
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: Immunoglobulin A deficiency (IgAD) is the most common primary immunodeficiency in the general population. It is defined as a serum IgA level below or equal to 0.07 g/l with normal IgM and IgG levels in children over the age of 4. However, a few cases of reversal of IgAD at later ages have been observed previously, especially in pediatric patients. This study aimed at investigating the frequency of reversal in a large cohort of children and young adults in order to evaluate the present definition of IgAD. Methods: Clinical laboratory records from 654 pediatric IgA deficient patients, 4-13 years of age, were retrieved from five university hospitals in Sweden. Follow up in the children where IgA serum levels had been routinely measured was subsequently performed. In addition, follow up of the IgA-levels was also performed at 4, 8 and 16 years of age in children who were IgA deficient at the age of 4 years in a Swedish population-based birth cohort study in Stockholm (BAMSE). Results: Nine out of 39 (23.1 %) children who were identified as IgAD at 4 years of age subsequently increased their serum IgA level above 0.07 g/L. The average age of reversal was 9.53 ± 2.91 years. In addition, 30 out of the 131 (22.9 %) children with serum IgAD when sampled between 5 and 9.99 years of age reversed their serum IgA level with time. The BAMSE follow up study showed a reversal of IgAD noted at 4 years of age in 8 out of 14 IgAD children at 16 years of age (5 at 8 years of age) where 4 were normalized their serum IgA levels while 4 still showed low serum levels of IgA, yet above the level defining IgAD. The results indicate that using 4 years of age, as a cut off for a diagnosis of IgAD may not be appropriate. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that a diagnosis of IgAD should not be made before the early teens using 0.07 g/L of IgA in serum as a cut off.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Journal of Clinical Immunology
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    ABSTRACT: Objective To analyse if predictors of radiographic progression differ between patients treated with or without prednisolone in early rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Radiographs of hands and feet were assessed using the modified Sharp/van der Heijde score and radiographic progression was defined as an increase in the total Sharp score above 5.8 (the smallest detectable change). Design Prospective, randomised study of patients with early RA. Setting Secondary level of care; six participating centres from southern Sweden; both urban and rural populations. Participants In all, 225 patients, 64% women, with a diagnosis of RA according to the American College of Rheumatology criteria, were included if they were between 18 and 80 years of age and had a disease duration of less than 1 year. Intervention The patients were randomised to 7.5 mg prednisolone daily for 2 years (P-group; n=108) or no prednisolone (NoP-group; n=117) when they started with their first disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug and were prospectively followed for 2 years. Results The frequency of patients with radiographic progression after 2 years was 26% in the P-group and 39% in the NoP-group (p=0.033). Relevant interactions between treatment and rheumatoid factor (RF) (p=0.061) and between treatment and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide 2 (anti-CCP) (p=0.096) were found. RF and anti-CCP independently predicted radiographic progression only in the NoP-group, OR (95% CI) 9.4 (2.5 to 35.2), p=0.001 and OR (95% CI) 8.7 (2.5 to 31.3), p=0.001, respectively. Conclusions The presence of RF and anti-CCP predicted radiographic progression in patients not treated with prednisolone but failed to predict progression in patients treated with this drug. The data suggest that early treatment with prednisolone may modulate not only inflammation but also autoimmunity-associated pathogenetic mechanisms. Trial registration number ISRCTN20612367.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · BMJ Open
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction Intra-articular glucocorticoid treatment (IAGC) is widely used for symptom relief in arthritis. However, knowledge of factors predicting treatment outcome is limited. The aim of the present study was to identify response predictors of IAGC for knee synovitis in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods In this study 121 RA patients with synovitis of the knee were treated with intra-articular injections of 20 mg triamcinolone hexacetonide. They were followed for six months and the rate of clinical relapse was studied. Non-responders (relapse within 6 months) and responders were compared regarding patient characteristics and knee joint damage as determined by the Larsen-Dale index. In addition, matched samples of serum and synovial fluid were analysed for factors reflecting the inflammatory process (C-reactive protein, interleukin 6, tumour necrosis factor alpha, vascular endothelial growth factor), joint tissue turnover (cartilage oligomeric matrix protein, metalloproteinase 3), and autoimmunity (antinuclear antibodies, antibodies against citrullinated peptides, rheumatoid factor). Results During the observation period, 48 knees relapsed (40%). Non-responders had more radiographic joint damage than responders (P = 0.002) and the pre-treatment vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) level in synovial fluid was significantly higher in non-responders (P = 0.002). Conclusions Joint destruction is associated with poor outcome of IAGC for knee synovitis in RA. In addition, higher levels of VEGF in synovial fluid are found in non-responders, suggesting that locally produced VEGF is a biomarker for recurrence of synovial hyperplasia and the risk for arthritis relapse.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Arthritis Research & Therapy
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    Eva Melin · Azita Sohrabian · Johan Rönnelid · Kristian Borg
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    ABSTRACT: Objective The pathophysiology of the postpolio syndrome is not fully understood. Increased cytokine levels in cerebrospinal fluid and peripheral blood indicate a systemic inflammatory process. Decreased cytokine levels and the clinical effect of intravenous immunoglobulin treatment further indicate an inflammatory/immunological pathogenesis. The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether an autoimmune process follows the initial infection, by means of analyzing immune complexes. Patients and methods Circulating immune complexes were analyzed from blood samples of 20 postpolio patients and 95 healthy controls. To compensate for differences in age between patients and controls, a sub-analysis was performed using only the 30 oldest controls. Tumor necrosis factor-inducing properties of polyethylene glycol-precipitated immune complexes were compared between the postpolio patients and ten healthy controls. Results When comparing levels in postpolio patients to the whole control group, including the 30 oldest investigated, there were no statistically significant differences. No difference was found in tumor necrosis factor levels induced by immune complexes when comparing patients and controls. Conclusions There was no increase in circulating immune complex or in tumor necrosis factor-inducing effects of circulating immune complex between postpolio patients and healthy controls, indicating that the postpolio syndrome is not due to an autoimmune reaction.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Results in Immunology
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    ABSTRACT: Background Early appearance of antibodies specific for native human type II collagen (anti-CII) characterizes an early inflammatory and destructive phenotype in adults with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The objective of this study was to investigate the occurrence of anti-CII, IgM RF, IgA RF and anti-CCP in serum samples obtained early after diagnosis, and to relate the occurrence of autoantibodies to outcome after eight years of disease in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Methods The Nordic JIA database prospectively included JIA patients followed for eight years with data on remission and joint damage. From this database, serum samples collected from 192 patients, at a median of four months after disease onset, were analysed for IgG anti-CII, IgM RF, IgA RF and IgG anti-CCP. Joint damage was assessed based on Juvenile Arthritis Damage Index for Articular damage (JADI-A), a validated clinical instrument for joint damage. Results Elevated serum levels of anti-CII occurred in 3.1%, IgM RF in 3.6%, IgA RF in 3.1% and anti-CCP in 2.6% of the patients. Occurrence of RF and anti-CCP did to some extent overlap, but rarely with anti-CII. The polyarticular and oligoarticular extended categories were overrepresented in patients with two or more autoantibodies. Anti-CII occurred in younger children, usually without overlap with the other autoantibodies and was associated with high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) early in the disease course. All four autoantibodies were significantly associated with joint damage, but not with active disease at the eight-year follow up. Conclusions Anti-CII, anti-CCP, IgA RF and IgM RF detected early in the disease course predicted joint damage when assessed after eight years of disease. The role of anti-CII in JIA should be further studied.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Pediatric Rheumatology
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    ABSTRACT: Immunological events in the lungs might trigger production of anti-citrullinated protein antibodies during early rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We investigated the presence of shared immunological citrullinated targets in joints and lungs of patients with RA. Proteins extracted from bronchial (n=6) and synovial (n=7) biopsy specimens from patients with RA were investigated by mass spectrometry-based proteomics. One candidate peptide was synthesised and used to investigate by ELISA the presence of antibodies in patients with RA (n=393), healthy controls (n=152) and disease controls (n=236). HLA-DRB1 shared epitope (SE) alleles were detected in patients with RA. Ten citrullinated peptides belonging to seven proteins were identified, with two peptides shared between the synovial and bronchial biopsy samples. Further analysis, using accurate mass and retention time, enabled detection of eight citrullinated peptides in synovial and seven in bronchial biopsy specimens, with five peptides shared between the synovial and bronchial biopsy specimens. Two citrullinated vimentin (cit-vim) peptides were detected in the majority of synovial and lung tissues. Antibodies to a synthesised cit-vim peptide candidate (covering both cit-vim peptides identified in vivo) were present in 1.8% of healthy controls, 15% of patients with RA, and 3.4% of disease controls. Antibodies to cit-vim peptide were associated with the presence of the SE alleles in RA. Identical citrullinated peptides are present in bronchial and synovial tissues, which may be used as immunological targets for antibodies of patients with RA. The data provide further support for a link between lungs and joints in RA and identify potential targets for immunity that may mediate this link.
    Preview · Article · May 2014 · Annals of the rheumatic diseases
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    Full-text · Dataset · May 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Selective immunoglobulin A deficiency is the most common primary immunodeficiency disorder that is strongly overrepresented among patients with celiac disease (CD). IgG antibodies against tissue transglutaminase (tTG) and deamidated gliadin peptides (DGP) serve as serological markers for CD in IgA deficient individuals, although the diagnostic value remains uncertain. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of these markers in a large cohort of IgA deficient adults with confirmed or suspected CD and relate the findings to gluten free diet. Sera from 488,156 individuals were screened for CD in seven Swedish clinical immunology laboratories between 1998 and 2012. In total, 356 out of 1,414 identified IgA deficient adults agreed to participate in this study and were resampled. Forty-seven IgA deficient blood donors served as controls. Analyses of IgG antibodies against tTG and DGP as well as HLA typing were performed and a questionnaire was used to investigate adherence to gluten free diet. Available biopsy results were collected. Out of the 356 IgA deficient resampled adults, 67 (18.8%) were positive for IgG anti-tTG and 79 (22.2%) for IgG anti-DGP, 54 had biopsy confirmed CD. Among the 47 IgA deficient blood donors, 4 (9%) were positive for IgG anti-tTG and 8 (17%) for anti-DGP. Four were diagnosed with biopsy verified CD, however, 2 of the patients were negative for all markers. Sixty-eight of 69 individuals with positive IgG anti-tTG were HLA-DQ2/DQ8 positive whereas 7 (18.9%) of the 37 individuals positive for IgG anti-DGP alone were not. IgG anti-tTG seems to be a more reliable marker for CD in IgA deficient adults whereas the diagnostic specificity of anti-DGP appears to be lower. High levels of IgG antibodies against tTG and DGP were frequently found in IgA deficient adults despite adhering to gluten free diet.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · PLoS ONE

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Institutions

  • 2003-2015
    • Uppsala University
      • • Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology
      • • Department of Medical Sciences
      • • The Rudbeck Laboratory
      Uppsala, Uppsala, Sweden
  • 1992-2010
    • Uppsala University Hospital
      • Department of Clinical Immunology and Transfusion Medicine
      Uppsala, Uppsala, Sweden
  • 2007
    • Linköping University
      Linköping, Östergötland, Sweden
  • 1998-2007
    • Karolinska Institutet
      • Department of Rheumatology
      Solna, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2006
    • Akademiska Sjukhuset
      Uppsala, Uppsala, Sweden
  • 1994-2003
    • Karolinska University Hospital
      • Department of Rheumatology
      Tukholma, Stockholm, Sweden