To investigate the efficacy of etanercept in improving the symptoms and underlying inflammation in patients with the TNF receptor-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS).
Fifteen patients with TRAPS were enrolled in a prospective, open-label, dose-escalation study. Patients recorded attacks, symptom severity, and use of ancillary medications in a daily diary. Blood samples were collected during each period and measured for acute phase reactants. 7–9 years after the conclusion of the initial study, patients completed a follow-up survey and were evaluated to determine the long-term outcome of etanercept treatment.
Etanercept treatment significantly attenuated the total symptom score, as well as reduced the frequency of symptoms. Etanercept also reduced acute phase reactants, particularly during asymptomatic periods. During a ten-year follow-up period, patients remained on etanercept for a median of 3.3 years, with a number of patients switching to anti-IL-1β therapy or remaining off biologic agents, citing injection reactions and lack of efficacy most frequently for discontinuation. However, patients remaining on etanercept had reduced symptoms at follow-up.
Etanercept reduces symptoms and serum inflammatory markers of TRAPS in a dose-dependent manner, but does not completely normalize symptoms or acute phase reactants. Although long-term adherence to etanercept is poor, remaining on etanercept may provide continued symptomatic benefit.
To describe the genotypes, phenotypes, immunophenotypes, and treatments of PAPA syndrome (pyogenic sterile arthritis, pyoderma gangrenosum, and acne), a rare autoinflammatory disease, in 5 patients.
Clinical information was gathered from medical records and through interviews with 5 patients from 4 kindreds. PSTPIP1 (CD2BP1) exon 10 and exon 11 sequencing was performed in each patient. Neutrophil granule content and cytokine levels were determined in plasma and stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from patients and controls.
We identified 2 previously described PAPA syndrome–associated PSTPIP1 mutations, A230T and E250Q, and a novel change, E250K. Disease penetrance was incomplete, with variable expressivity. The cutaneous manifestations included pathergy, cystic acne, and pyoderma gangrenosum. Interleukin-1 (IL-1β) and circulating neutrophil granule enzyme levels were markedly elevated in patients compared to those in controls. PBMC stimulation studies demonstrated impaired production of IL-10 and enhanced production of granulocyte–macrophage colony-stimulating factor. Good resolution of pyoderma gangrenosum was achieved in 3 patients with tumor necrosis factor (TNFα) blockade treatment.
This analysis of 5 patients demonstrates that mutations in PSTPIP1 are incompletely penetrant and variably expressed in the PAPA syndrome. Neutrophil granule proteins are markedly elevated ex vivo and in the plasma, and elevated levels might be compatible with a diagnosis of PAPA syndrome. TNFα blockade appears to be effective in treating the cutaneous manifestations of PAPA syndrome.
Our understanding of the etiology of autoinflammatory disease is growing rapidly. Recent advances offer new opportunities for therapeutic intervention and suggest that the definition of what constitutes an autoinflammatory disease should be reassessed.
Recent advances in genetics and technology have led to breakthroughs in understanding the genes that predispose individuals to autoimmune diseases. A common haplotype of the signal transducer and activator of transcription 4 (STAT4) gene has been shown to be associated with susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and primary Sjögren’s syndrome. STAT4 is a transcription factor that transduces interleukin-12, interleukin-23, and type I interferon cytokine signals in T cells and monocytes, leading to T-helper type 1 and T-helper type 17 differentiation, monocyte activation, and production of interferon-γ. Although the evidence for this association is very strong and well replicated, the exact mechanism by which polymorphisms in this gene lead to disease remains unknown. In concert with the identification of other disease-associated loci, elucidating how the variant form of STAT4 modulates immune function should lead to an improved understanding of the pathophysiology of autoimmunity.
In 2010, important research into the systemic autoinflammatory diseases has confirmed and extended the role of IL-1 inhibition in hereditary autoinflammatory disorders, demonstrated a novel treatment for a dangerous complication, and expanded the spectrum of systemic autoinflammatory diseases while further implicating autoinflammation in the pathophysiology of the metabolic syndrome.
Missense mutations in the C-terminal B30.2 domain of pyrin cause familial Mediterranean fever (FMF), the most common Mendelian autoinflammatory disease. However, it remains controversial as to whether FMF is due to the loss of an inhibitor of inflammation or to the activity of a proinflammatory molecule. We generated both pyrin-deficient mice and “knockin” mice harboring mutant human B30.2 domains. Homozygous knockin, but not pyrin-deficient, mice exhibited spontaneous bone marrow-dependent inflammation similar to but more severe than human FMF. Caspase-1 was constitutively activated in knockin macrophages and active IL-1β was secreted when stimulated with lipopolysaccharide alone, which is also observed in FMF patients. The inflammatory phenotype of knockin mice was completely ablated by crossing with IL-1 receptor-deficient or adapter molecule ASC-deficient mice, but not NLRP3-deficient mice. Thus, our data provide evidence for a heretofore unrecognized ASC-dependent NLRP3-independent inflammasome in which gain-of-function pyrin mutations cause autoinflammatory disease.
Affected relatives are essential for pedigree linkage analysis, however, they cause a violation of the independent sample assumption in case-control association studies. To avoid the correlation between samples, a common practice is to take only one affected sample per pedigree in association analysis. Although several methods exist in handling correlated samples, they are still not widely used in part because these are not easily implemented, or because they are not widely known. We advocate the effective sample size method as a simple and accessible approach for case-control association analysis with correlated samples. This method modifies the chi-square test statistic, p-value, and 95% confidence interval of the odds-ratio by replacing the apparent number of allele or genotype counts with the effective ones in the standard formula, without the need for specialized computer programs. We present a simple formula for calculating effective sample size for many types of relative pairs and relative sets. For allele frequency estimation, the effective sample size method captures the variance inflation exactly. For genotype frequency, simulations showed that effective sample size provides a satisfactory approximation. A gene which is previously identified as a type 1 diabetes susceptibility locus, the interferon-induced helicase gene (IFIH1), is shown to be significantly associated with rheumatoid arthritis when the effective sample size method is applied. This significant association is not established if only one affected sib per pedigree were used in the association analysis. Relationship between the effective sample size method and other methods – the generalized estimation equation, variance of eigenvalues for correlation matrices, and genomic controls – are discussed.
ROS generated by mitochondrial respiration are needed for optimal proinflammatory cytokine production in healthy cells, and are elevated in cells from patients with an autoinflammatory disorder.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have an established role in inflammation and host defense, as they kill intracellular bacteria and have been shown to activate the NLRP3 inflammasome. Here, we find that ROS generated by mitochondrial respiration are important for normal lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-driven production of several proinflammatory cytokines and for the enhanced responsiveness to LPS seen in cells from patients with tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS), an autoinflammatory disorder caused by missense mutations in the type 1 TNF receptor (TNFR1). We find elevated baseline ROS in both mouse embryonic fibroblasts and human immune cells harboring TRAPS-associated TNFR1 mutations. A variety of antioxidants dampen LPS-induced MAPK phosphorylation and inflammatory cytokine production. However, gp91phox and p22phox reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase subunits are dispensable for inflammatory cytokine production, indicating that NADPH oxidases are not the source of proinflammatory ROS. TNFR1 mutant cells exhibit altered mitochondrial function with enhanced oxidative capacity and mitochondrial ROS generation, and pharmacological blockade of mitochondrial ROS efficiently reduces inflammatory cytokine production after LPS stimulation in cells from TRAPS patients and healthy controls. These findings suggest that mitochondrial ROS may be a novel therapeutic target for TRAPS and other inflammatory diseases.
PAPA syndrome (Pyogenic Arthritis, Pyoderma gangrenosum, and Acne) is an autosomal dominant, hereditary auto-inflammatory disease arising from mutations in the PSTPIP1/CD2BP1 gene on chromosome 15q. These mutations produce a hyper-phosphorylated PSTPIP1 protein and alter its participation in activation of the “inflammasome” involved in interleukin-1 (IL-1β) production. Overproduction of IL-1β is a clear molecular feature of PAPA syndrome. Ongoing research is implicating other biochemical pathways that may be relevant to the distinct pyogenic inflammation of the skin and joints characteristic of this disease. This review summarizes the recent and rapidly accumulating knowledge on these molecular aspects of PAPA syndrome and related disorders.
Auto-inflammatory disease; PAPA syndrome; PSTPIP1; CD2BP1; PTP-PEST; pyrin; neutrophils; microarray transcript profiling; anakinra; IL-1β.
The autoinflammatory diseases are characterized by seemingly unprovoked episodes of inflammation, without high-titer autoantibodies or antigen-specific T cells. The concept was proposed ten years ago with the identification of the genes underlying hereditary periodic fever syndromes. This nosology has taken root because of the dramatic advances in our knowledge of the genetic basis of both mendelian and complex autoinflammatory diseases, and with the recognition that these illnesses derive from genetic variants of the innate immune system. Herein we propose an updated classification scheme based on the molecular insights garnered over the past decade, supplanting a clinical classification that has served well but is opaque to the genetic, immunologic, and therapeutic interrelationships now before us. We define six categories of autoinflammatory disease: IL-1β activation disorders (inflammasomopathies), NF-κB activation syndromes, protein misfolding disorders, complement regulatory diseases, disturbances in cytokine signaling, and macrophage activation syndromes. A system based on molecular pathophysiology will bring greater clarity to our discourse while catalyzing new hypotheses both at the bench and at the bedside.
innate immunity; IL-1β; inflammasome; type 2 diabetes mellitus; pulmonary fibrosis; Crohn’s disease; ankylosing spondylitis; atherosclerosis
The discovery of the genetic causes of a rare group of immune-mediated inflammatory conditions that mimic infections and allergic conditions in their clinical presentation and the molecular understanding of the function of the mutated molecules in these diseases has led to a revolution in our understanding of the pathogenesis of systemic and local inflammation. The proteins mutated in a number of these so-called autoinflammatory diseases are part of, or regulate the activity of, intracellular molecular complexes, the inflammasomes, that sense “danger” to the body and coordinate an initial immune response. Our understanding of specific triggers of the inflammasomes, coupled with the recognition that inflammasomes are critical for activation of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-1, has provided a rational and very effective target in the treatment of a number of these rare autoinflammatory diseases. In addition, the ongoing discovery of the role of inflammasomes and IL-1 activation and secretion in a number of genetically complex disorders have fundamentally changed our view of disease pathogenesis in a growing number of disorders that were heretofore not even thought of as “immunologic” diseases.
Autoinflammatory diseases; neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disease (NOMID)/chronic infantile neurologic; cutaneous and arthritis (CINCA); cryopin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS); deficiency of the IL-1 receptor antagonist; NLRP3; IL1RN; IL-1 receptor antagonist; anakinra; neonatal disorder; genetic disease; IL-1
Cryopyrin (NALP3) mediates formation of the inflammasome, a protein complex responsible for cleavage of pro-IL-1β to its active form. Mutations in the cryopyrin gene, NLRP3, cause the autoinflammatory disease spectrum: cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS). The central role of IL-1β in CAPS is supported by the remarkable response to IL-1 targeted therapy. We developed two novel Nlrp3 mutant knock-in mouse strains to model CAPS to examine the role of other inflammatory mediators and adaptive immune responses in an innate immune driven disease. These mice had systemic inflammation and poor growth, similar to some human CAPS patients, and demonstrated early mortality, primarily mediated by myeloid cells. Mating these mutant mice to various knock-out backgrounds confirmed the mouse disease phenotype required an intact inflammasome, was only partially dependent on IL-1β, and was independent of T cells. This data suggests CAPS are true inflammasomopathies and provide insight for more common inflammatory disorders.
FMF has traditionally been considered an autosomal recessive disease; however, it has been observed that a substantial number of patients with clinical FMF possess only one demonstrable MEFV mutation. Here, an extensive search for a second MEFV mutation was performed in 46 patients clinically diagnosed with FMF and carrying only one high-penetrance FMF mutation.
MEFV and other candidate genes were sequenced by standard capillary electrophoresis. The entire 15 kb MEFV genomic region was re-sequenced in 10 patients using a hybridization-based chip technology. MEFV gene expression levels were determined by qRT-PCR and pyrin protein levels were examined by Western blotting.
A second MEFV mutation was not identified in any of the screened patients. Haplotype analysis did not identify a common haplotype that might be associated with the transmission of a second FMF allele. Western blots did not demonstrate a significant difference in pyrin levels between single and double variant patients; however, FMF patients of both types showed higher protein expression compared to controls and non-FMF patients with active inflammation. Screening of genes encoding pyrin-interacting proteins identified rare variants in a small number of patients, suggesting the possibility of digenic inheritance.
Our data underscore the existence of a significant subset of FMF patients who are carriers of only one MEFV mutation and demonstrate that complete MEFV sequencing is not likely to yield a second mutation. Screening for the set of most common mutations appears sufficient in the presence of clinical symptoms to diagnose FMF and initiate a trial of colchicine.
Familial cold autoinflammatory syndrome (FCAS) is caused by mutations in CIAS1 leading to excessive secretion of IL-1β, which is associated with cold induced fevers, joint pain and systemic inflammation. This pilot study was conducted to assess the safety and efficacy of the long acting IL-1 receptor fusion protein, rilonacept (IL-1 Trap), in patients with FCAS.
Five Caucasian patients with FCAS were studied in an open-label trial. All patients received an initial loading dose of 300 mg of rilonacept by subcutaneous injections, were evaluated 6 and 10 days later for clinical efficacy and remained off drug until a clinical flare occurred. At the time of flare patients were retreated with 300 mg of rilonacept and then maintained on weekly doses of 100 mg per week. Patients who were not completely controlled could have their dose increased to 160 mg per week and further to 320 mg per week during an intra-patient dose escalation phase. Safety, disease activity measures, (daily diary reports of rash, joint pain and/or swelling, fevers) and quality of health measures (SF-36 questionnaire) as well as various serum markers of inflammation (ESR, CRP, SAA and IL-6) were measured at 3, 6, 9, 12 and 24 months after initiation of rilonacept administration and compared with baseline values.
In all patients, clinical symptoms typically induced by cold (rash, fever, joint pain and swelling) improved within days of rilonacept administration. Inflammatory markers (ESR, CRP and SAA) showed a statistically significant reduction (p < 0.01 for ESR and p<0.001 for CRP and SAA) at doses of 100 mg. Although dose escalation to 160 mg and 320 mg resulted in subjectively better control of rash and joint pain, the lower measurements at the higher doses differed only significantly for the ESR, and a non-significant trend towards lower CRP and SAA levels was observed. All patients remained on study drug. The drug was well tolerated. Weight gain in two patients was noted. No study drug related serious adverse events were seen.
In this study using the long acting IL-1 inhibitor, rilonacept in five patients with FCAS, we present two-year safety and efficacy data. The dramatic improvement in clinical and laboratory measures of inflammation, the sustained response and good tolerability suggest that this drug may be a promising therapeutic option in patients with FCAS and the data led to the design of a phase 3 study in this patient population ((1)New Hoffman Ref).
Cryopyrin; IL-1 blockade; FCAS; CAPS; clinical trial
Recent studies have identified a number of novel rheumatoid arthritis (RA) loci in Caucasian populations. In this study, we sought to determine whether the genetic variants at 4q27, 6q23, CCL21, TRAF1/C5, and CD40 identified in Caucasians are also associated with RA in a Korean case-control collection. We also comprehensively evaluated the genetic variation within PTPN22, a well established autoimmune disease-associated gene.
We designed a Sequenom iPlex experiment to thoroughly evaluate the PTPN22 linkage disequilibrium region using tag SNPs and disease-associated SNPs at 5 other previously reported Caucasian RA-associated loci in 1123 RA Korean RA patients and 1008 ethnically matched controls. We also re-sequenced the PTPN22 gene to look for novel coding variants that might be contributing to disease in this population.
None of the Caucasian RA susceptibility loci contributed significantly to disease in Koreans. Tag SNPs covering the PTPN22 linkage disequilibrium block, while polymorphic, did not reveal any disease association and re-sequencing did not identify any new common coding region variants in this population. The 6q23 and 4q27 SNPs assayed were non-polymorphic in this population and the TRAF1/C5, CD40, and CCL21 SNPs did not show any evidence for association.
Caucasian and Korean rheumatoid arthritis have different genetic risk factors. While patients of different ethnic groups share the HLA region as a major genetic risk locus, most other genes shown to be significantly associated with disease in Caucasians appear not to play a role in Korean RA.
The single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs11761231 on chromosome 7q has been reported as a sexually dimorphic marker for rheumatoid arthritis susceptibility in a British population. We sought to replicate this finding and better characterize susceptibility alleles in the region in a North American population.
DNA from two North American collections of RA patients and controls (1605 cases and 2640 controls) was genotyped for rs11761231 and 16 additional chromosome 7q tag SNPs using Sequenom iPlex assays. Association tests were performed for each collection and also separately contrasting male cases versus male controls and female cases versus female controls. Principal components analysis (EIGENSTRAT) was used to determine association with RA before and after adjusting for population stratification in the subset of the samples (772 cases and 1213 controls) with whole genome SNP data.
We failed to replicate association of the 7q region with rheumatoid arthritis. Initially, rs11761231 showed evidence for association with RA in the NARAC collection (p=0.0076) and rs11765576 showed association with RA in both the NARAC (p = 0.019) and RA replication (p = 0.0013) collections. These markers also exhibited sexual differentiation. However, in the whole genome subset, neither SNP showed significant association with RA after correction for population stratification.
While two SNPs on chromosome 7q appeared to be associated with RA in a North American cohort, the significance of this finding did not withstand correction for population substructure. Our results emphasize the need to carefully account for population structure to avoid false positive disease associations.
For Genetic Analysis Workshop 16 Problem 1, we provided data for genome-wide association analysis of rheumatoid arthritis. Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotype data were provided for 868 cases and 1194 controls that had been assayed using an Illumina 550 k platform. In addition, phenotypic data were provided from genotyping DRB1 alleles, which were classified according to the rheumatoid arthritis shared epitope, levels of anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide, and levels of rheumatoid factor IgM. Several questions could be addressed using the data, including analysis of genetic associations using single SNPs or haplotypes, as well as gene-gene and genetic analysis of SNPs for qualitative and quantitative factors.
Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is a systemic autoinflammatory disorder characterized by seemingly unprovoked recurrent episodes of fever and serosal, synovial, or cutaneous inflammation. FMF is caused by recessively inherited mutations in MEFV, which encodes pyrin, and most of the mutations are present in the C-terminal end of the protein encoding B30.2 domain. The FMF carrier frequencies are extremely high in several eastern Mediterranean populations. Pyrin is expressed in granulocytes, monocytes, dendritic cells, and synovial fibroblasts. Pyrin regulates caspase-1 activation and consequently interleukin-1β production through the interactions of its N-terminal PYRIN domain and C-terminal B30.2 domain with an adaptor protein, apoptosis-associated speck-like protein with a caspase-recruitment domain (ASC) and caspase-1 respectively. Pyrin is cleaved by caspase-1 and the cleaved N-terminal fragment translocates to nucleus and enhances ASC-independent nuclear factor (NF)-κB activation through interactions with p65 NF-κB and IκB-α. In addition to the regulatory role of pyrin for caspase-1, the cleavage of pyrin provides an important clue not only in understanding the molecular pathogenesis of FMF but also in developing new therapeutic targets for FMF.
inflammation; genetic disorders; molecular pathogenesis; neutrophils; macrophages
PSTPIP1 is a cytoskeleton-associated adaptor protein that links PEST-type phosphatases to their substrates. Mutations in PSTPIP1 cause PAPA syndrome (Pyogenic sterile Arthritis, Pyoderma gangrenosum, and Acne), an autoinflammatory disease. PSTPIP1 binds to pyrin and mutations in pyrin result in familial Mediterranean fever (FMF), a related autoinflammatory disorder. Since disease-associated mutations in PSTPIP1 enhance pyrin binding, PAPA syndrome and FMF are thought to share a common pathoetiology. The studies outlined here describe several new aspects of PSTPIP1 and pyrin biology. We document that PSTPIP1, which has homology to membrane-deforming BAR proteins, forms homodimers and generates membrane-associated filaments in native and transfected cells. An extended FCH (Fes-Cip4 homology) domain in PSTPIP1 is necessary and sufficient for its self-aggregation. We further show that the PSTPIP1 filament network is dependent upon an intact tubulin cytoskeleton and that the distribution of this network can be modulated by pyrin, indicating that this is a dynamic structure. Finally, we demonstrate that pyrin can recruit PSTPIP1 into aggregations (specks) of ASC, another pyrin binding protein. ASC specks are associated with inflammasome activity. PSTPIP1 molecules with PAPA-associated mutations are recruited by pyrin to ASC specks with particularly high efficiency, suggesting a unique mechanism underlying the robust inflammatory phenotype of PAPA syndrome.
Recent evidence suggests that additional risk loci for RA are present in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), independent of the class II HLA-DRB1 locus. We have now tested a total of 1,769 SNPs across 7.5Mb of the MHC located from 6p22.2 (26.03 Mb) to 6p21.32 (33.59 Mb) derived from the Illumina 550K Beadchip (Illumina, San Diego, CA, USA). For an initial analysis in the whole dataset (869 RA CCP + cases, 1,193 controls), the strongest association signal was observed in markers near the HLA-DRB1 locus, with additional evidence for association extending out into the Class I HLA region. To avoid confounding that may arise due to linkage disequilibrium with DRB1 alleles, we analyzed a subset of the data by matching cases and controls by DRB1 genotype (both alleles matched 1:1), yielding a set of 372 cases with 372 controls. This analysis revealed the presence of at least two regions of association with RA in the Class I region, independent of DRB1 genotype. SNP alleles found on the conserved A1-B8-DR3 (8.1) haplotype show the strongest evidence of positive association (P ~ 0.00005) clustered in the region around the HLA-C locus. In addition, we identified risk alleles that are not present on the 8.1 haplotype, with maximal association signals (P ~ 0.001–0.0027) located near the ZNF311 locus. This latter association is enriched in DRB1*0404 individuals. Finally, several additional association signals were found in the extreme centromeric portion of the MHC, in regions containing the DOB1, TAP2, DPB1, and COL11A2 genes. These data emphasize that further analysis of the MHC is likely to reveal genetic risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis that are independent of the DRB1 shared epitope alleles.
A recent study in the North American White population has documented the association of a common STAT4 haplotype (tagged by rs7574865) with risk for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus. To replicate this finding in the Korean population, we performed a case-control association study. We genotyped 67 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the STAT1 and STAT4 regions in 1123 Korean patients with RA and 1008 ethnicity-matched controls. The most significant four risk SNPs (rs11889341, rs7574865, rs8179673, and rs10181656 located within the third intron of STAT4) among 67 SNPs are identical with those in the North American study. All four SNPs have modest risk for RA susceptibility (odds ratio 1.21–1.27). A common haplotype defined by these markers (TTCG) carries significant risk for RA in Koreans [34 percent versus 28 percent, P = 0.0027, OR (95 percent CI) = 1.33 (1.10–1.60)]. By logistic regression analysis, this haplotype is an independent risk factor in addition to the classical shared epitope alleles at the HLA-DRB1 locus. There were no significant associations with age of disease onset, radiographic progression, or serologic status using either allelic or haplotypic analysis. Unlike several other risk genes for RA such as PTPN22, PADI4, and FCRL3, a haplotype of the STAT4 gene shows consistent association with RA susceptibility across Whites and Asians, suggesting that this risk haplotype predates the divergence of the major racial groups.