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1.  Induction of osteoclastogenesis and bone loss by human autoantibodies against citrullinated vimentin 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2012;122(5):1791-1802.
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.
doi:10.1172/JCI60975
PMCID: PMC3336988  PMID: 22505457
2.  Immediate determination of ACPA and rheumatoid factor - a novel point of care test for detection of anti-MCV antibodies and rheumatoid factor using a lateral-flow immunoassay 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2010;12(3):R120.
Introduction
Autoantibodies against mutated and citrullinated vimentin (MCV) represent a novel diagnostic marker for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Recently, an increased sensitivity for anti-MCV compared to autoantibodies against cyclic citrullinated peptides (anti-CCP2) was shown in cohorts of patients with early RA and established disease.
The aim of this study was to develop and evaluate a point of care test (POCT) for detection of anti-MCV antibodies immediately at the first visit or at the bed side.
Methods
A lateral-flow immunoassay was developed for simultaneous detection of anti-MCV antibodies and rheumatoid factor (RF-IgG) and evaluated in a prospective setting. Analyses were performed from whole blood samples of patients with seropositive RA (n = 108), seronegative RA as well as other rheumatic disorders (n = 122), and healthy blood donors (n = 200) and compared to detection via ELISA.
Results
Using the POCT, anti-MCV antibodies were detected in 54.6% and RF-IgG in 56.5% of patients with RA. Specificity was 99.1% for anti-MCV antibodies and 91.2% for RF-IgG. Compared to ELISA's results, POCT sensitivity was 69.3% for anti-MCV and 55.6% for RF-IgG, specificity was 99.7% and 97.2%, respectively.
Conclusions
This POCT for detection of anti-MCV antibodies and RF-IgG provides high specificity for the diagnosis of RA and is useful in clinical practice due to its simplicity and its reliable performance. This test can greatly improve a timely management of RA and may help in screening patients with suspected RA in non-specialized settings prompting early referrals.
doi:10.1186/ar3057
PMCID: PMC2911914  PMID: 20569500
4.  A chronic model of arthritis supported by a strain-specific periarticular lymph node in BALB/c mice 
Nature Communications  2013;4:1644-.
Current animal models of arthritis only partially reflect the complexity of rheumatoid arthritis and typically lack either chronicity or autoantibody formation. Here we describe a model that combines features of antigen-induced arthritis and collagen-induced arthritis, which can be efficiently induced in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice. However, BALB/c mice generate significantly higher titres of anticollagen and anticitrullinated peptide antibodies, show a stronger progressive joint destruction, and in the chronic phase the disease spreads between joints. Concomitant to the observation of a more severe pathology, we discovered a previously undescribed small periarticular lymph node in close proximity to the knee joint of BALB/c mice, which acts as the primary draining lymph node for the synovial cavity. Our model more closely reflects the pathology of rheumatoid arthritis than classical models of arthritis and is hence particularly suitable for further studies of disease pathogenesis.
Mouse models of arthritis generally do not result in both chronic disease and autoantibody production—two key features of the human disease. Here the authors obtain both features by combining two common protocols, and find that disease severity is associated with the presence of a previously unidentified lymph node.
doi:10.1038/ncomms2625
PMCID: PMC3644064  PMID: 23552059

Results 1-4 (4)