This study determined the prevalence and determinants of seropositivity for rheumatoid factor (RF), anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibody, and anti-mutated citrullinated vimentin (anti-MCV) antibody in unaffected first-degree relatives (FDRs) of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients.
A total of 337 subjects (135 with RA and 202 FDRs) were enrolled in this case-control study. Serum RF, anti-CCP antibody, and anti-MCV antibody were assayed. Subjects in multicase families (≥ 2 affected FDRs within the same family) were identified. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to identify risk factors associated with RA-related autoantibodies.
Seropositivity for RF, anti-CCP antibody, or anti-MCV antibody was detected in 14.4%, 5.0%, or 13.4% of unaffected FDRs, respectively. Anti-CCP antibody seropositivity was more prevalent in FDRs in multicase families (17.8%) than in those not in multicase families (1.3%, p < 0.0001). Significant correlations between RA-associated autoantibodies were detected in the FDR group (between RF and anti-CCP antibody: r = 0.366, p < 0.0001; between RF and anti-MCV antibody: r = 0.343, p < 0.0001; and between anti-CCP antibody and anti-MCV antibody: r = 0.849, p < 0.0001). After adjustment for age and sex, anti-CCP antibody seropositivity in FDRs was significantly associated with being in a multicase family (odds ratio, 49.8; 95% confidence interval, 5.6 to 441.6).
The association between anti-CCP antibody seropositivity in unaffected FDRs and being in a multicase family suggests that genetic and/or environmental factors may increase the risk for RA development in unaffected FDRs.
Rheumatoid arthritis; First-degree relative; Rheumatoid factor; Citrullinated antigen
Antibodies against citrullinated proteins/peptides (ACPAs), and especially antibodies targeting mutated citrullinated vimentin (anti-MCVs), are novel biomarkers of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Whereas ACPAs are specific and sensitive markers for RA, there have hardly been any reports relating to ACPAs in psoriatic arthritis (PsA) or in psoriasis without joint symptoms (PsO). The aim of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of anti-MCVs in PsA and PsO. Serum anti-MCV titers were measured in 46 PsA and 42 PsO patients and in 40 healthy controls by means of a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The potential correlations of the serum autoantibody levels with several clinical and laboratory parameters were examined. The anti-MCV levels in the PsA patients were significantly higher than those in the PsO group. Among the clinical variables, the presence of tender knee joints and nail psoriasis was significantly associated with anti-MCV positivity in the PsA patients. Higher anti-MCV titers in the PsO patients were associated with a more severe disease course and with the early onset of psoriatic skin symptoms. Our results suggest that anti-MCVs can be used as novel markers in the diagnosis of PsA and in a subset of PsO patients.
Rheumatoid factor (RF) is currently used in the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The discovery of anticitrullinated protein autoantibodies has led to the development of various new tests, such as anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibodies, and anti-mutated citrullinated vimentin (anti-MCV) antibodies, to diagnose RA. The aims of this study were to determine the sensitivity and specificity of anti-MCV antibodies in comparison with anti-CCP antibodies and RF in Omani Arab patients with RA and compare our findings with published values from different ethnic groups. The sensitivity of anti-MCV antibodies was 72% with 87% specificity. For anti-CCP antibodies the sensitivity was 52% and the specificity was 97%. The sensitivity of RF was 57% with 94% specificity. Anti-CCP antibodies have higher diagnostic specificity and positive predictive value than RF and anti-MCV antibodies. Anti-MCV antibodies have the highest sensitivity when compared to anti-CCP antibodies and RF. Anti-MCV antibodies do not appear to be very useful in the diagnosis of RA. However, long-term study is required to find out whether anti-MCV antibodies can be used as predictive test for incidence of RA.
Antibodies directed against citrullinated vimentin are members of the family of autoantibodies reactive with citrullinated proteins and are among the most specific serological markers for the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This study was performed to test the diagnostic value of a newly developed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the detection of antibodies against a genetically modified citrullinated vimentin (anti-MCV) in comparison with a second-generation anti-cyclic citrullinated peptides (anti-CCP2) ELISA test system. Blinded sera from 631 patients (409 consecutive out-patients and 222 randomly selected stored sera) with RA (n = 164) and non-RA (osteoarthritis [n = 120], polymyalgia rheumatica/giant cell arteritis [n = 80], spondyloarthritis [n = 36], and other inflammatory rheumatic or non-inflammatory disease [n = 67]) were tested for the presence of anti-MCV and anti-CCP2 antibodies according to the manufacturers' instructions. The diagnostic performance of the anti-MCV was comparable with the anti-CCP2 assay for the diagnosis of RA according to the calculated area under the curve (0.824; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.778–0.870 versus 0.818; 95% CI 0.767–0.869) as analysed by receiving operating characteristic curve. When categorised with a cutoff value of 20.0 U/ml (as recommended by the manufacturer), sensitivity and specificity of the anti-MCV ELISA were 69.5% (95% CI 61.9%–76.5%) and 90.8% (86.9%–93.8%), respectively, compared with 70.1% (62.5%–77.0%) and 98.7% (96.7%–99.6%) of the anti-CCP2 assay. Using the cutoff values of 19.0 U/ml and 81.5 U/ml for the anti-MCV test to obtain a sensitivity and specificity identical to the anti-CCP2 assay, showed a reduced specificity (89.8%; 85.8%–92.9%) and sensitivity (53.7%; 45.7%–61.5%), respectively, of the anti-MCV ELISA compared with the anti-CCP2 test. In conclusion, the serum ELISA testing for anti-MCV antibodies as well as the anti-CCP-2 assay perform comparably well in the diagnosis of RA. In the high-specificity range, however, the anti-CCP2 assay appears to be superior to the anti-MCV test.
Antibodies against cyclic citrullinated peptides (CCPs) are useful for diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Antibodies to mutated citrullinated vimentin (MCV) were described recently in RA. The aims of this study were to evaluate the usefulness of anti-MCV for diagnosing RA in anti-CCP-negative patients and to monitor anti-MCV titres during infliximab therapy for RA.
We studied two groups of RA patients, one with (n = 80) and one without (n = 76) anti-CCP antibodies. The specificity of anti-MCV was evaluated by investigating 50 healthy controls and 158 patients with other rheumatic diseases (51 psoriatic rheumatism, 58 primary Sjögren syndrome, and 49 ankylosis spondylitis). Serum anti-MCV and anti-CCP titres were measured in 23 patients after 6, 12, 18, and 24 months of infliximab treatment. Anti-CCP2 and anti-MCV levels were assayed using a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. IgM rheumatoid factor was determined by nephelometry.
In accordance with the cutoff values recommended by the manufacturer, the specificity of anti-MCV antibodies was 90.9%. We adjusted the cutoff values to obtain the same specificity as that of anti-CCP antibodies (94.2%). With this optimal cutoff, anti-MCV antibodies were found in 11.8% (9/76) of RA patients without anti-CCP, and similarly, anti-CCP antibodies were found in 11.2% (9/80) of RA patients without anti-MCV. Anti-MCV antibodies were positive in 6 patients who tested negative for both anti-CCP and rheumatoid factor. Anti-MCV titres were significantly decreased after 18 and 24 months of infliximab therapy compared with baseline (P < 0.01) as a significant decrease of anti-CCP levels occurred only at 24 months (P < 0.04). Moreover, an anti-MCV decrease was significantly associated with DAS28 (disease activity score using 28 joint counts) improvements 12 months into therapy.
Our results suggest that anti-MCV antibodies may be valuable for diagnosing RA in anti-CCP-negative patients without replacing them as an equivalent number of anti-CCP-positive RA patients test negative for anti-MCV. Moreover, anti-MCV antibodies could be useful for monitoring the effects of infliximab therapy.
Antibodies to citrullinated proteins/peptides (ACPAs) are the second serological marker to have recently been included in the 2010 ACR/EULAR Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Classification Criteria, which are focused on early diagnosis and therapy. This review discusses their history and some clinical aspects of ACPAs, focusing on the diagnostic utility of anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibodies as a marker of RA as compared to the widely used rheumatoid factor (RF). Simultaneously, this review aims to raise physician awareness and interest in anti-citrullinated vimentin antibody (anti-Sa/anti-MCV), another member of the ACPA family, which appears to have a better predictive value as a marker of RA than anti-CCP or RF and correlates closely with disease activity and therapeutic response among patients with RA.
antibodies to citrullinated protein/peptide; anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide; anti-mutated citrullinated vimentin; anti-Sa; rheumatoid arthritis; American College of Rheumatology
Autoimmunity is complicated by bone loss. In human rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the most severe inflammatory joint disease, autoantibodies against citrullinated proteins are among the strongest risk factors for bone destruction. We therefore hypothesized that these autoantibodies directly influence bone metabolism. Here, we found a strong and specific association between autoantibodies against citrullinated proteins and serum markers for osteoclast-mediated bone resorption in RA patients. Moreover, human osteoclasts expressed enzymes eliciting protein citrullination, and specific N-terminal citrullination of vimentin was induced during osteoclast differentiation. Affinity-purified human autoantibodies against mutated citrullinated vimentin (MCV) not only bound to osteoclast surfaces, but also led to robust induction of osteoclastogenesis and bone-resorptive activity. Adoptive transfer of purified human MCV autoantibodies into mice induced osteopenia and increased osteoclastogenesis. This effect was based on the inducible release of TNF-α from osteoclast precursors and the subsequent increase of osteoclast precursor cell numbers with enhanced expression of activation and growth factor receptors. Our data thus suggest that autoantibody formation in response to citrullinated vimentin directly induces bone loss, providing a link between the adaptive immune system and bone.
The aim of our study was to investigate the association between arthritic disease activity and antibodies to mutated citrullinated vimentin (anti-MCV), because such a relation has been suggested.
Anti-MCV levels were measured in 162 patients with early arthritis (123 with rheumatoid arthritis and 39 with undifferentiated arthritis) at baseline and at 1 and 2 years of follow up. Disease activity was measured using the disease activity score (Disease Activity Score based on 28 joints [DAS28]) and serum C-reactive protein. General estimation equation analysis was used to assess the relation between anti-MCV levels and DAS28 over time.
Both, anti-MCV levels and DAS28 exhibited a significant decrease during the first and second year. However, the association between anti-MCV levels and DAS28, adjusted for dependency on sequential measurements within one individual, was very low (β = 0.00075). In a population of patients with rheumatoid arthritis or undifferentiated arthritis, anti-MCV had a specificity of 92.3% and a sensitivity of 59.3% when using the recommended cut-off of 20 U/ml. Specificity and sensitivity of antibodies against second-generation cyclic citrullinated peptide, using the recommended cut-off value of 25 U/ml, were 92.1% and 55.3%, respectively. Anti-MCV-positive early arthritis patients had significantly higher Sharp-van der Heijde score, erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein levels than did anti-MCV-negative patients at all time points (P < 0.005), but DAS28 was higher in anti-MCV-positive patients at 2 years of follow up only (P < 0.05).
Because the correlation between anti-MCV levels and parameters of disease activity was very low, we conclude that it is not useful to monitor disease activity with anti-MCV levels.
The presence or absence of antibodies to citrullinated peptides/proteins (ACPA) is an important parameter that helps a clinician set a diagnosis of early rheumatoid arthritis and, hence, initiate treatment. There are several commercial tests available to measure ACPA levels, although it can be difficult to decide what the best test for a given clinical question is. We analyzed literature data in which the diagnostic and other properties of various ACPA tests are compared. The results show that for diagnostic purposes the CCP2 test has the highest specificity, the highest sensitivity in stratified studies and the highest positive predictive value. For the prediction of future joint destruction the CCP2, MCV, and CCP3 tests may be used. The ability to predict the likelihood of not achieving sustained disease-modifying antirheumatic drug-free remission was highest for the CCP2 test. Finally, the levels of anti-CCP2 and anti-CCP3 (and possibly anti-mutated citrullinated vimentin) in rheumatoid arthritis patients are not significantly influenced by TNFα blocking agents.
Background: Anti-filaggrin antibodies (AFA) are among the most specific antibodies for rheumatoid arthritis, so procedures for their detection should be included in early biological diagnoses. AFA can be detected by indirect immunofluorescence (anti-keratin antibodies, AKA) or by new enzyme immunoassays (EIA). Their comparative performance needs to be established.
Objective: To compare these technical procedures to optimise the serological diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.
Methods: Results obtained using AKA and EIA were compared in 271 sera from 140 patients with rheumatoid arthritis at various stages, 98 patients with other autoimmune diseases, and 33 healthy subjects. EIA were successively undertaken with citrullinated linear filaggrin peptide (home made EIA) or cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP2, commercial kits). Rheumatoid factor (RF) was assessed by EIA in all patients.
Results: Anti-CCP2 kits showed the best sensitivity and specificity (65% and 96%, respectively). Among the 140 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, those with very recent disease (less than six months' duration, n = 21) were studied as a separate group. In this group, the sensitivity of anti-CCP2 kits decreased to ~50%. Nevertheless this assay remained the most accurate when compared with AKA or home made EIA using linear filaggrin peptides. The combination of anti-CCP2 and RF only slightly increased the sensitivity of the diagnosis of very early rheumatoid arthritis.
Conclusions: Kits using citrullinated cyclic peptides (CCP2) were more suitable than either AKA or EIA using linear filaggrin peptides for the diagnosis of early rheumatoid disease.
The purpose of this study was to examine the diagnostic performance of autoantibodies against citrullinated peptides/proteins (ACPA) and to determine the prevalence of HLA-DRB1 shared epitope alleles (SE) in African patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Serum levels of anti-cyclic citrullinated peptides antibodies (anti-CCP2, anti-CCP3), IgM and IgA rheumatoid factors (RF) were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in the serum of 56 consecutive RA patients regularly followed in the Rheumatology Unit of the School of Medicine, University of Yaoundé, Yaoundé, Cameroon. Genotyping of HLA-DRB1 alleles was performed by polymerase chain reaction and hybridization with sequence-specific oligonucleotide probes on microbeads arrays. Fifty-one patients with other inflammatory rheumatic diseases and 50 healthy individuals were included as controls.
An anti-CCP2 assay showed the best diagnosis sensitivity (82%) and specificity (98%) with high positive predictive (PPV) (96%) and negative predictive values (NPV) (91%). Thirty percent of RA patients were carrying at least one copy of the HLA-DRB1 shared epitope (SE) compared to 10% and 14% of patients with other inflammatory rheumatic diseases and healthy individuals, respectively. The presence of the SE was associated with the production of ACPA.
Anti-CCP2 antibodies are useful markers of RA in African patients. In this cohort, the prevalence of the SE is higher in RA patients than in controls but lower than that reported in patient cohorts of European ancestry. The discrepancy between the high prevalence of ACPA-positive patients and the relatively low number of SE-positive cases suggest that, in addition to SE, other genetic factors control the development of ACPA in African RA patients.
Background: Haplotypes of PADI4, encoding for a citrullinating enzyme, were associated with rheumatoid arthritis in a Japanese population. It was suggested they were related to the presence of anticitrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA).
Objective: To explore the relation between PADI4 haplotypes, the presence of rheumatoid arthritis specific intracellular citrullinated proteins in synovial membrane, and serum ACPA titres.
Methods: Synovial biopsies and peripheral blood samples were obtained in 59 patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Synovial intracellular citrullinated proteins were detected by immunohistochemistry. Serum ACPA titres were measured by anti-CCP2 ELISA. PADI4 haplotypes were determined by direct sequencing of the four exonic PADI4 single nucleotide polymorphisms.
Results: PADI4 haplotype frequencies and the presence of synovial intracellular citrullinated proteins and ACPA were comparable with previous studies. There was no significant association between PADI4 haplotype 1 or 2 and the presence of synovial intracellular citrullinated proteins, although these proteins were associated with higher serum ACPA. There was no correlation between PADI4 haplotypes and serum ACPA, either by continuous analysis using the titres or by dichotomous analysis using the diagnostic cut off. Further analyses in homozygotes for haplotype 1 or 2 or in heterozygotes (1/2) also failed to show an association between PADI4 polymorphisms and ACPA. This contrasted with the clear association between ACPA levels and HLA-DR shared epitope.
Conclusions: The link between synovial intracellular citrullinated proteins and ACPA emphasises the role of deimination of synovial proteins in rheumatoid arthritis, but the biological relevance of the PADI4 haplotypes for this autoimmune process is questionable, at least in a European population.
To find out whether a high number of auto-antibodies can increase the probability of a “good-EULAR response” and to identify the possible biomarkers of response in seropositive rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients undergoing the B cell depletion therapy (BCDT).
Patients and Methods
One hundred and thirty-eight patients with long standing RA (LSRA), 75% non or poorly responsive to one or more TNFα blockers, all seropositive for at least one autoantibody (AAB) (RF-IgM, RF-IgA, RF-IgG, anti-MCV, ACPA-IgG, ACPA-IgA, ACPA-IgM) received one full course of BCDT. The major outcomes (moderate or good-EULAR response) were assessed after 6 months of therapy. The IL6 and BAFF levels were also determined.
At a 6-month follow-up, 33 (23.9%) of the RA patients achieved a good EULAR response. Having up to 5-AABs positivity increased the chances for treatment response. After a logistic regression analysis, however, only 4 baseline factors arose as associated with a good-EULAR response: no steroid therapy (OR = 6.25), a lymphocyte count <1875/uL (OR = 10.74), a RF-IgG level >52.1 IU/ml (OR = 8.37) and BAFF levels <1011 pg/ml (OR = 7.38). When all the AABs, except for RF-IgM and ACPA-IgG, were left in the analysis, the two final predictors were no-steroid therapy and low lymphocyte count.
The number of AABs increased the chances of being a “good-EULAR” responder. The only predictors, however, at the baseline of a good response in this seropositive cohort of RA patients were 2 simple variables – no steroids and lymphocyte count – and two laboratory assays – IgG-RF and BAFF.
Background: The anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP) test has a high sensitivity and specificity for rheumatoid arthritis, although CCP is not the physiological target of the autoantibodies. Citrullinated fibrin is abundant in inflamed synovium
Objective: To assess the diagnostic and prognostic value of antibodies against citrullinated fibrinogen (ACF), a soluble precursor of fibrin, in comparison with IgM-rheumatoid factor (IgM-RF) and the second generation anti-CCP test.
Methods: In 379 patients with early arthritis (258 rheumatoid and 121 undifferentiated), the sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value of ACF, anti-CCP, and IgM-RF for diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis were calculated. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to assess the diagnostic and prognostic value (radiographic progression after two years) of the tests.
Results: The sensitivities of the ACF, anti-CCP, and IgM-RF tests were 55.8%, 57.8%, and 44.6%, with specificities of 92.6%, 94.2%, and 96.7%, respectively. Approximately 30% of the IgM-RF negative patients were positive for ACF or anti-CCP or both. The ACF and anti-CCP test had a high agreement in early arthritis (κ = 0.84). Of all baseline characteristics, the ACF test and the anti-CCP test were the best predictors for diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis at one year (odds ratio (OR) = 10.3 and 10.6, respectively) and for radiographic progression after two years (OR = 12.1 and 14.8).
Conclusions: ACF is as sensitive as anti-CCP and more sensitive than IgM-RF in diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis in early arthritis. The ACF test is also a good predictor of radiographic progression, with a performance similar to the anti-CCP test. The ACF test and the anti-CCP test are especially valuable in IgM-RF negative arthritis.
To evaluate the role of Anti-Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide (anti-CCP) antibody and Rheumatoid Factor (RF) in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) patients.
The present study comprised of 60 clinically diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis patients and 30 apparently healthy subjects as controls. Among 60 RA patients, 30 were <2 years duration and 30 were 3 to 15 years duration. Anti-CCP and RF levels were analyed by ELISA and immunoturbidimetric assay respectively. Disease activity was assessed by disease duration, duration of morning stiffness, hand deformity and radiological findings. Anti-CCP and rheumatoid factor were measured.
A valid comparison showed that autoantibodies directed to citrullinated antigen–anti-CCP are superior to RF for the detection of RA. Anti-CCP antibodies have an independent role in predicting radiological damage and progression in RA patients.
With their excellent specificity, anti-CCP antibodies can be used as serological marker in establishing the diagnosis of RA. Anti-CCP antibodies discriminated accurately between erosive and nonerosive RA making them a potentially good prognostic marker for the disease.
Rheumatoid arthritis; Anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies; Rheumatoid factor
Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV) is a newly-discovered human tumor virus found in ∼80% of Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC). The rate of MCV infection among persons without MCC is unknown. We developed a MCV virus-like particle (VLP) enzyme-linked immunoassay (EIA) that does not cross-react with human BK or murine polyomaviruses. Peptide mapping of the MCV VP1 gene and immunoblotting with denatured MCV VLP are less sensitive than the MCV EIA in detecting MCV antibodies suggesting antibody reactivity in this assay primarily targets conformational but not linear epitopes. Among MCC patients, all 21 (100%) patients tested with MCV-positive tumors had high serum MCV IgG but not high MCV IgM levels. Only 3 of 6 (50%) MCC patients with MCV-negative tumors were positive for MCV antibodies. Sera from most adults, including 107 of 166 (64%) blood donors, 63 of 100 (63%) commercial donors and 37 of 50 (74%) systemic lupus erythematosus patients, show evidence for prior MCV exposure. Age-specific MCV prevalence was determined by examining a cross-sectional distribution of 150 Langerhans cell histiocytosis (an unrelated neoplasm) patient sera. MCV prevalence increases from 50% among children age 15 years or younger to 80% among persons older than 50 years. We did not find evidence for vertical transmission among infants. Although past exposure to MCV is common among all adult groups, MCC patients have a markedly elevated MCV IgG response compared with control patients. Our study demonstrates that MCV is a widespread but previously unrecognized human infection.
Merkel cell polyomavirus; Merkel cell carcinoma; virus-like particles; enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; serologic assay
To determine the prevalence and significance of anti-citrullinated vimentin and anti-citrullinated type II collagen antibodies and elucidate their role in the disease process of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).
Sera were obtained from 95 patients with various subtypes of JIA, 19 systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients, and 10 healthy children. Antibodies were measured in the sera against citrullinated and native type II collagen and vimentin (vim1-16 and vim 59-74) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Samples were compared to anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibody and rheumatoid factor (RF) isotypes, and our previously measured anti-citrullinated fibrinogen and α-enolase antibodies on the same patient population, in addition to erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein. The relationship between the anti-citrullinated antibody profile and disease activity and joint damage were also investigated.
Twenty-three JIA patients (24%) demonstrated reactivity to anti-citrullinated type II collagen. Ten JIA patients (10.5%) demonstrated reactivity to anti-citrullinated vimentin 1–16 antibodies and 7 (7.4%) to anti-citrullinated vimentin 59–74 antibodies. One IgM RF-positive polyarticular patient was positive for all 5 of the citrullinated autoantibodies tested. Thirty-seven different subsets of patients were identified based on their anti-citrullinated autoantibody and RF isotype profile. No significant associations were noted with anti-citrullinated type II collagen and anti-citrullinated vimentin antibodies with joint damage or disease activity. Anti-citrullinated vimentin 59–74 antibodies demonstrated the highest overall specificity at 89.7%, with anti-citrullinated vimentin 1–16 and anti-citrullinated type II collagen antibodies at 86.2%.
This study demonstrates that antibodies to multiple citrullinated epitopes are present in the sera of patients with various subtypes of JIA. It also demonstrates the frequent occurrence of anti-citrullinated type II collagen and anti-citrullinated fibrinogen antibodies. The presence of autoantibodies to citrullinated antigens in JIA patients is highly diverse.
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis; Anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies; Type II collagen; Vimentin
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease with a strong MHC class II component and where many patients develop characteristic autoantibodies towards the noncoding amino acid citrulline. Such anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA) have recently been put forward as an independent predictive factor for treatment response by co-stimulation blockade by CTLA4-Ig (abatacept). We have performed a mechanism of action study to dissect T cell functionality in RA patients with long-standing disease undergoing abatacept treatment and the influence of ACPA status.
Peripheral blood samples were collected from RA patients as they started CTLA4-Ig treatment and 3 and 6 months later. A general decrease of regulatory T cell subsets was observed in the cohort. Additionally within the ACPA-positive group significant down-regulation of all key T cell effector subsets including Th1, Th2, and Th17 was observed by analyzing cytokines by intracellular flow cytometry and in cell culture supernatants.
RA synovial fluid samples were cultured in vitro in the presence or absence of CTLA4-Ig (abatacept). T cell cytokine production was diminished, but without increasing the functional capacity of CD4+CD25hi regulatory T cells as previously demonstrated in the context of TNF-blockade and anti-IL6R therapy.
Our immunological study of T cell functionality in RA patients, both ACPA-positive and ACPA-negative, starting biological therapy with the co-stimulation blockade abatacept (CTLA4-Ig) supports the recently published registry study implicating ACPA seropositivity as an independent predictive factor to treatment response as we observed the most striking effect on T cell subset modulation in ACPA-positive patients. These data further support the notion of RA as a disease with several sub-entities, where the ACPA-positive fraction represents a classical HLA-associated autoimmune disorder while ACPA-negative patients may have other driving forces apart from classical adaptive immune responses.
Rheumatoid arthritis; Autoimmunity; T lymphocyte; Cytokines; Regulatory T cells; Abatacept; ACPA
Anti-citrullinated protein/peptide antibodies (ACPA), have high specificity for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Some children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), phenotypically resemble RA and test positive for rheumatoid factor (RF) a characteristic biomarker of RA. We investigated the prevalence of ACPA and its relationship to other serologic markers associated with RA in a well-characterized JIA cohort.
Cases were 334 children with JIA, 30 of whom had RF + polyarticular JIA. Sera from all cases and 50 healthy pediatric controls were investigated by ELISA at a single time point for anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) IgG, RF IgM, IgA and IgG, anti-RA33 IgG, and antinuclear antibodies (ANA). Comparisons between cases and controls were made using Chi-square or Fisher exact tests and T-tests.
The prevalence of RF was 8% among controls, and 12% among cases (ns). The prevalence of ACPA was 2% in controls and 14.3% in cases (OR 8.2, p <0.01). Children who were ACPA-positive and RF-negative (n = 23) had a significantly earlier onset-age (4.6 years vs. 12.1 years, p <0.00001) and had fewer HLA-DRB1 shared epitope alleles than those positive for both RF and ACPA (n = 25). Prevalence of anti-RA33 was not different between cases and controls.
ACPAs are detectable in 14% of children with JIA. Children with positive ACPA but negative RF are frequent, and may define a distinct subset of children with JIA. ACPA testing should be included in the classification of JIA.
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis; Serologic markers; Cyclic citrullinated peptide; Rheumatoid arthritis
Objective/Aim: A new group of autoantibodies in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), the anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibodies directed to citrulline-containing proteins, which are of value for the severity of RA. Up to date, the relationship between anti-CCP antibodies and oxidant, anti-oxidant activity in patients with RA has not been elucidated in the previous studies. In this study we aimed to investigate the effect of anti-CCP antibodies in the circulation on whole blood, serum and synovial fluid oxidant and anti-oxidant activity in patients with RA. Materials and Methods: RA patients with anti-CCP (+) (n=25) and anti-CCP (-) (n=24) were recruited into the study. All patients had a positive rheumatoid factor (RF). The patients who were under treatment with only non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAID) at the study time included in the study. Catalase (CAT), Glutathione peroxidase (GSHPx), Myeloperoxidase (MPO) activities and the levels of Malondialdehyde (MDA) were measured in whole blood, serum and synovial fluid in both groups. Results: There were no significant differences in terms of the mean whole blood and serum antioxidative activity (CAT, GSHpx) and the mean blood and serum MDA and MPO values (oxidative activity), between the patients with anti-CCP(+) and those with anti-CCP(-). There was increased synovial oxidant activity (MDA and MPO levels) (p<0.05) in anti-CCP(+) RA patients with or without ESR negativity when compared with anti-CCP(-) RA patients. There was positive correlation between anti-CCP antibody levels and synovial MDA and MPO levels (r=0.435, p<0.05, r=0.563, p<0.05 respectively) in anti-CCP (+) group. Conclusions: In conclusion, anti-CCP antibody positivity seems to be associated with increased synovial fluid oxidant activity (increased MDA and MPO levels) in patients with RA. These conclusions need to be validated in a larger controlled study population.
Oxidative stress; Rheumatoid arthritis; Anti-CCP antibody; Malondialdehyde; Myeloperoxidase; Synovial fluid
Antibodies directed against citrullinated proteins (eg anti‐cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP)) have excellent diagnostic and good prognostic potential for rheumatoid arthritis. Type 1 autoimmune hepatitis (AIH‐1) is a chronic liver disease characterised by a variety of serum autoantibodies. Recently, in a large group of patients with AIH‐1 without clear rheumatoid arthritis overlap, a relatively high percentage (9%) of anti‐CCP2 positivity was scored.
To characterise the citrulline‐dependence of the observed anti‐CCP2 positivity in AIH‐1 sera as well as in other groups of patients without rheumatoid arthritis (mainly rheumatic diseases).
Serum samples of 57 patients with AIH‐1 and 66 patients without rheumatoid arthritis, most of them reported as anti‐CCP positive, were tested for citrulline‐specific reactivity with a second generation anti‐CCP kit, with the citrullinated and the corresponding non‐citrullinated (arginine‐containing) antigen. A subset of AIH‐1 sera was also tested with a CCP1 ELISA (and arginine control).
The anti‐CCP2 reactivity of most non‐rheumatoid arthritis rheumatic diseases samples (87–93%) was citrulline‐specific, whereas a relatively high percentage of AIH‐1 samples (42–50%) turned out to be reactive in a citrulline‐independent manner. The use of citrullinated and non‐citrullinated CCP1 peptides confirmed a high occurrence of citrulline‐independent reactivity in AIH‐1 samples.
In rheumatoid arthritis and most non‐rheumatoid arthritis rheumatologic disease sera, anti‐CCP positivity is citrulline‐dependent. However in some patients, particularly patients with AIH‐1, citrulline‐independent reactivity in the anti‐CCP2 test can occur. A positive CCP test in a non‐rheumatic disease (eg liver disease) should therefore be interpreted with care, and preferably followed by a control ELISA with a non‐citrullinated antigen.
To investigate the temporal relationship between onset of inflammation (as measured by secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) and C reactive protein (CRP)) and the presence of autoantibodies (IgM rheumatoid factor (IgM RF) and antibodies against citrullinated peptides (anti‐CCP)) in the preclinical phase of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
For 79 patients with RA who had been blood donors before the onset of disease, a median of 13 serum samples per patient was available. sPLA2 was measured in patient and matched control samples and related to previous CRP, IgM RF, and anti‐CCP measurements. The temporal relationship between the increased markers of inflammation and autoantibodies was analysed with time lag analysis.
IgM RF and anti‐CCP concentrations were significantly associated (p<0.001) with concentrations of sPLA2, CRP, and the combination of sPLA2 and CRP at the same time point. However, we found no stronger association between the two autoantibody tests and the three inflammation measures 1, 2, and 3 years before or after a time point than for measurements at the same time, in the whole group or in subgroups of IgM RF and anti‐CCP positive patients.
Both the acute phase response and autoantibody formation often develop years before the first symptoms of RA occur, and these phenomena are probably closely connected in time.
rheumatoid arthritis; secretory phospholipase A2
; inflammation; autoantibodies
To evaluate the significance of antibodies against cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti‐CCP) and rheumatoid factors (RFs), before the onset of rheumatoid arthritis and when presenting as early disease (baseline), for disease activity and progression.
93 of a cohort of 138 patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (<12 months of symptoms) had donated blood before symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (defined as pre‐patients) and were identified from among blood donors within the Medical Biobank of northern Sweden. Disease activity (erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C reactive protein, joint score, global visual analogue scale) and radiological destruction in hands and feet (Larsen score) were assessed at baseline and after two years. Anti‐CCP antibodies and RFs were analysed using enzyme immunoassays. HLA shared epitope (SE) alleles (DRB1*0401/0404) were identified.
Patients with anti‐CCP antibodies before disease onset had significantly higher Larsen score at baseline and after two years. In multiple regression analyses baseline values of anti‐CCP/IgA‐RF/IgG‐RF/IgM‐RF, swollen joint count, and Larsen score significantly predicted radiological outcome at two years. In logistic regression analyses, baseline values of anti‐CCP antibodies/IgA‐RF, therapeutic response at six months, and swollen joint count/ESR significantly predicted radiological progression after two years. The baseline titre of anti‐CCP antibodies was higher in patients with radiological progression and decreased significantly in those with response to therapy. SE allele carriage was associated with a positive test for anti‐CCP antibodies in pre‐patients and in early rheumatoid arthritis.
Presence of anti‐CCP antibodies before disease onset is associated with more severe radiological damage. The titre of anti‐CCP antibodies is related to disease severity.
anti‐CCP antibody; rheumatoid factors; early rheumatoid arthritis; radiological outcome; titre of anti‐CCP antibodies
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common rheumatic disease in Caucasians and in other ethnic groups. Diagnosis is mainly based on clinical features. Before 1998, the only serological laboratory test that could contribute to the diagnosis was that for rheumatoid factor (RF). The disease activity markers for the evaluation of clinical symptoms or treatment outcome were the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP). As a matter of fact, the diagnosis of early RA is quite impossible, as the clinical criteria are insufficient at the beginning stage of the disease. In 1998, Schelleken reported that a high percentage of RA patients had a specific antibody that could interact with a synthetic peptide which contained the amino acid citrulline. The high specificity (98%) for RA of this new serological marker, anti-cyclic citrullinated antibody (anti-CCP antibody), can be detected early in RA, before the typical clinical features appear. The presence or absence of this antibody can easily distinguish other rheumatic diseases from RA. Additionally, the titer of anti-CCP can be used to predict the prognosis and treatment outcome after DMARDs or biological therapy. Therefore, with improvement of sensitivity, the anti-CCP antibody will be widely used as a routine laboratory test in the clinical practice for RA.
Anti-CCP antibody; rheumatoid factor; rheumatoid arthritis; HLA-Class II genes; smoking
Anti-citrullinated protein/peptide antibodies (ACPAs) are highly specific to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and are thought to have a close relationship with the pathogenesis of arthritis. Several proteins, including fibrinogen, vimentin, and alpha-enolase, were reported as ACPA-target antigens, and their importance in RA pathogenesis was widely proposed. We identified citrullinated immunoglobulin binding protein (citBiP) as another ACPA target in RA patients and examined its pro-inflammatory role in arthritis.
We measured the levels of anti-citBiP, anti-BiP, and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP) antibodies in the serum of RA patients (n = 100), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients (n = 60), and healthy controls (n = 30) using ELISA and immunoblotting. Epitope mapping was performed using 27 citBiP-derived peptides. In the mouse study, after DBA/1J mice were immunized with BiP or citBiP, serum titers of ACPAs were measured by ELISA and immunohistochemistry. The development of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) was observed in BiP- or citBiP-pre-immunized mice.
The serum levels of anti-BiP and anti-citBiP antibodies were significantly increased in RA patients, although only anti-BiP antibodies were slightly increased in SLE patients. Interestingly, anti-citBiP antibody levels were higher than anti-BiP antibody levels in 72% of RA patients, whereas no significant increase in anti-citBiP antibody levels was detected in SLE patients and healthy controls. The serum levels of anti-CCP antibodies were correlated with those of anti-citBiP antibodies in RA patients (R2 = 0.41). Several citrulline residues of citBiP were determined to be major epitopes of anti-citBiP antibodies, one of which showed cross-reactivity with CCP. Immunization of DBA/1J mice with citBiP induced several kinds of ACPAs, including anti-CCP and anti-citrullinated fibrinogen antibodies. Pre-immunization with citBiP exacerbated CIA, and anti-CCP antibody levels were increased in citBiP-pre-immunized CIA mice.
CitBiP is a newly described ACPA target that may play a pro-inflammatory role in arthritis.