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Logo of annrheumdAnnals of the Rheumatic DiseasesVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
Ann Rheum Dis. 2004 May; 63(5): 578–582.
PMCID: PMC1754981

Autoimmune manifestations in human myelodysplasia: a positive correlation with interferon regulatory factor-1 (IRF-1) expression


Background: Patients with myelodysplasia may have autoimmune manifestations (AIM). Interferon regulatory factor-1 (IRF-1) is a transcription factor involved in interferon signalling, leukaemogenesis, and the development of the immune system.

Objectives: To determine whether IRF-1 is implicated in the pathophysiology of AIM in myelodysplasia.

Methods: 14 patients with myelodysplasia were studied, seven with AIM and seven without. Five patients with vasculitis and seven normal subjects served as controls. The expression of IRF-1 was studied in bone marrow mononuclear cells taken from patients and controls, using a relative quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction.

Results: A 10-fold reduction in full length IRF-1 mRNA was detected in the myelodysplasia patients without AIM compared with the normal controls. In contrast, the group with AIM had increased IRF-1 transcripts, to a level almost equal to that observed in patients with vasculitis and normal controls.

Conclusions: Myelodysplasia patients without IRF-1 expression had a decreased incidence of AIM. Thus the absence of IRF-1 transcription factor appears to protect against the development of autoimmunity in myelodysplasia.

Figure 1
Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) amplifications representing interferon regulatory factor-1 (IRF-1) mRNA and 18 S rRNA in patients and controls. (A) Group A, lanes 1–7: seven myelodysplasia patients with autoimmune manifestations. ...
Figure 2
Box plots showing the median, minimum, maximum, and quartile pixel values for each group of patients. The relative interferon regulatory factor-1 (IRF-1) mRNA expression to 18s rRNA levels is presented as box plots with median and interquartile ranges ...

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