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1.  Gastrin-releasing peptide, substance P and cytokines in rheumatoid arthritis 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2005;7(3):111-113.
Many studies have shown that modulation of cytokine function is effective in ameliorating symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Neuropeptides have recently been shown to have powerful effects on the production and release of cytokines and have also been shown to exert potent proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory effects in animal models of inflammatory diseases. An analysis of cytokine and neuropeptide content of synovial fluid from patients with rheumatoid arthritis has revealed a significant correlation between two neuropeptides, bombesin/gastrin-releasing peptide and substance P, and the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 as well as the erythrocyte sedimentation rate. These findings provide further evidence for a role of neuropeptides and cytokines in the pathophysiology of rheumatoid arthritis, as well as suggesting additional approaches for the development of novel therapeutic interventions.
PMCID: PMC1174968  PMID: 15899059
2.  Aging, osteoarthritis and transforming growth factor-β signaling in cartilage 
Osteoarthritis is a common malady of the musculoskeletal system affecting the articular cartilage. The increased frequency of osteoarthritis with aging indicates the complex etiology of this disease, which includes pathophysiology and joint stability including biomechanics. The balance between anabolic morphogens and growth factors and catabolic cytokines is at the crux of the problem of osteoarthritis. One such signal is transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β). The impaired TGF-β signaling has been identified as a culprit in old mice in a recent article in this journal. This commentary places this discovery in the context of anabolic and catabolic signals and articular cartilage homeostasis in the joint.
PMCID: PMC1526554  PMID: 16356196
4.  Opioids for non-operable osteoarthritis and soft-tissue rheumatism 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2005;7(5):193-194.
Reviews of oral opioid trials have shown that many side-effects need to be considered when treating patients with non-operable osteoarthritis and soft-tissue problems. European and American guidelines recommend their use with or without paracetamol. The controversy surrounding the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs/cyclo-oxygenase-2 inhibitors is limiting physician and patient choices. There is a great need for alternative medication or ways of using current compounds.
PMCID: PMC1257452  PMID: 16207348
5.  Clinical and laboratory characteristics of drug-induced vasculitic syndromes 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2005;7(5):191-192.
Clinical recognition of drug-induced vasculitic and lupus-like syndromes is very important because continued use of the offending drug can lead to irreversible and life-threatening vasculitic organ damage (e.g. end-stage renal disease or pulmonary haemorrhage). Withdrawal of the drug often leads to spontaneous recovery, meaning that immunosuppressive therapy can be avoided. The presence of myeloperoxidase–antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies, IgM anticardiolipin antibody, and antihistone antibodies in combination was found to be characteristic of drug-induced vasculitic syndromes caused by the antithyroid drugs propylthiouracil and methimazol. Clinically, skin vasculitis and arthralgias predominated and renal vasculitis was rare.
PMCID: PMC1257446  PMID: 16207347
6.  DAS28: a useful instrument to monitor infliximab treatment in patients with rheumatoid arthritis 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2005;7(5):189-190.
The Disease Activity Score using 28 joint counts (DAS28) has been developed in a cohort of patients with rheumatoid arthritis in which only conventional anti-rheumatic treatments were used. It has extensively been validated to monitor disease activity in daily clinical practice as well as in clinical trials. The study of Vander Cruyssen and colleagues showed that the DAS28 correlated best with the decisions of rheumatologists to increase the infliximab dose because of insufficient response. This result once more confirms the validity of the DAS28 to monitor disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and to titrate treatment with biologicals.
PMCID: PMC1257454  PMID: 16207346
7.  Crystals in hand 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2005;7(5):187-188.
A genetic association of the ENPP1 gene with primary hand osteoarthritis was recently reported in this journal. ENPP1 encodes an enzyme that regulates soft tissue calcification. The study as it stands is far from complete because the actual causal variant(s) within ENPP1 has not been identified and no functional study on the activity of the enzyme in hand osteoarthritis was presented. Nevertheless, the study stimulates interest and will encourage others in the field to test ENPP1 as a possible osteoarthritis susceptibility gene in their cohorts. The genetic basis of osteoarthritis is slowly being uncovered, and this report constitutes another interesting find.
PMCID: PMC1257447  PMID: 16207345
8.  MAPK signalling in rheumatoid joint destruction: can we unravel the puzzle? 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2005;7(5):177-178.
Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) have been associated with the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but the individual contributions of the three MAPK family members are incompletely understood. Although previous data have established a role for c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) in different animal models of arthritis, most recent data indicate that the stable activation of p38 MAPK and in part of ERK significantly contributes to destructive arthritis in mice transgenic for human tumour necrosis factor-α. These data highlight the complexity of MAPK signalling in arthritis and provide a basis for the design of novel strategies to treat human RA.
PMCID: PMC1257450  PMID: 16207342
9.  Histone deacetylases – a new target for suppression of cartilage degradation? 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2005;7(4):155-156.
Increased expression of metalloproteinases is a fundamental aspect of arthritispathology and its control is a major therapeutic objective. In cartilage cultured in the presence of the cytokines interleukin-1 and oncostatin M, chondrocytes produce enhanced levels of metalloproteinases of the ADAMTS (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs) and MMP (matrix metalloproteinase) families, resulting in the degradation of aggrecan and collagen. The histone deacetylase inhibitors trichostatin A and butyrate were shown to drastically reduce expression of these enzymes relatively selectively, with concomitant inhibition of breakdown of matrix components. This family of enzymes is therefore a promising target for therapeutic intervention.
PMCID: PMC1175048  PMID: 15987498
10.  Psoriatic arthritis synovial histopathology: commentary on the article by Kruithof and colleagues 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2005;7(3):124-125.
The clinical features in psoriatic arthritis straddle the divide between rheumatoid arthritis on the one hand and spondyloarthropathy on the other. The paper by Kruithof and colleagues compares synovial immunohistologic features and clearly identifies psoriatic arthritis as being a member of the spondyloarthropathy family.
PMCID: PMC1174969  PMID: 15899064
14.  Long term evaluation of disease progression through the quantitative magnetic resonance imaging of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis patients: correlation with clinical symptoms and radiographic changes 
The objective of this study was to further explore the cartilage volume changes in knee osteoarthritis (OA) over time using quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (qMRI). These were correlated with demographic, clinical, and radiological data to better identify the disease risk features. We selected 107 patients from a large trial (n = 1,232) evaluating the effect of a bisphosphonate on OA knees. The MRI acquisitions of the knee were done at baseline, 12, and 24 months. Cartilage volume from the global, medial, and lateral compartments was quantified. The changes were contrasted with clinical data and other MRI anatomical features. Knee OA cartilage volume losses were statistically significant compared to baseline values: -3.7 ± 3.0% for global cartilage and -5.5 ± 4.3% for the medial compartment at 12 months, and -5.7 ± 4.4% and -8.3 ± 6.5%, respectively, at 24 months. Three different populations were identified according to cartilage volume loss: fast (n = 11; -13.2%), intermediate (n = 48; -7.2%), and slow (n = 48; -2.3%) progressors. The predictors of fast progressors were the presence of severe meniscal extrusion (p = 0.001), severe medial tear (p = 0.005), medial and/or lateral bone edema (p = 0.03), high body mass index (p < 0.05, fast versus slow), weight (p < 0.05, fast versus slow) and age (p < 0.05 fast versus slow). The loss of cartilage volume was also slightly associated with less knee pain. No association was found with other Western Ontario McMaster Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) scores, joint space width, or urine biomarker levels. Meniscal damage and bone edema are closely associated with more cartilage volume loss. These data confirm the significant advantage of qMRI for reliably measuring knee structural changes at as early as 12 months, and for identifying risk factors associated with OA progression.
PMCID: PMC1526551  PMID: 16507119
15.  Imbalance of local bone metabolism in inflammatory arthritis and its reversal upon tumor necrosis factor blockade: direct analysis of bone turnover in murine arthritis 
Chronic arthritis typically leads to loss of periarticular bone, which results from an imbalance between bone formation and bone resorption. Recent research has focused on the role of osteoclastogenesis and bone resorption in arthritis. Bone resorption cannot be observed isolated, however, since it is closely linked to bone formation and altered bone formation may also affect inflammatory bone loss. To simultaneously assess bone resorption and bone formation in inflammatory arthritis, we developed a histological technique that allows visualization of osteoblast function by in-situ hybridization for osteocalcin and osteoclast function by histochemistry for tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase. Paw sections from human tumor necrosis factor transgenic mice, which develop an erosive arthritis, were analyzed at three different skeletal sites: subchondral bone erosions, adjacent cortical bone channels, and endosteal regions distant from bone erosions. In subchondral bone erosions, osteoclasts were far more common than osteoblasts. In contrast, cortical bone channels underneath subchondral bone erosions showed an accumulation of osteoclasts but also of functional osteoblasts resembling a status of high bone turnover. In contrast, more distant skeletal sites showed only very low bone turnover with few scattered osteoclasts and osteoblasts. Within subchondral bone erosions, osteoclasts populated the subchondral as well as the inner wall, whereas osteoblasts were almost exclusively found along the cortical surface. Blockade of tumor necrosis factor reversed the negative balance of bone turnover, leading to a reduction of osteoclast numbers and enhanced osteoblast numbers, whereas the blockade of osteoclastogenesis by osteoprotegerin also abrogated the osteoblastic response. These data indicate that bone resorption dominates at skeletal sites close to synovial inflammatory tissue, whereas bone formation is induced at more distant sites attempting to counter-regulate bone resorption.
PMCID: PMC1526585  PMID: 16507121
16.  Attenuation of murine antigen-induced arthritis by treatment with a decoy oligodeoxynucleotide inhibiting signal transducer and activator of transcription-1 (STAT-1) 
The transcription factor STAT-1 (signal transducer and activator of transcription-1) plays a pivotal role in the expression of inflammatory gene products involved in the pathogenesis of arthritis such as various cytokines and the CD40/CD40 ligand (CD40/CD40L) receptor-ligand dyad. The therapeutic efficacy of a synthetic decoy oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) binding and neutralizing STAT-1 was tested in murine antigen-induced arthritis (AIA) as a model for human rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The STAT-1 decoy ODN was injected intra-articularly in methylated bovine serum albumin (mBSA)-immunized mice 4 h before arthritis induction. Arthritis was evaluated by joint swelling measurement and histological evaluation and compared to treatment with mutant control ODN. Serum levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, mBSA-specific antibodies and auto-antibodies against matrix constituents were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The transcription factor neutralizing efficacy of the STAT-1 decoy ODN was verified in vitro in cultured synoviocytes and macrophages. Single administration of STAT-1 decoy ODN dose-dependently suppressed joint swelling and histological signs of acute and chronic arthritis. Delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) reaction, serum levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and anti-proteoglycan IgG titres were significantly reduced in STAT-1 decoy ODN-treated mice, whereas mBSA, collagen type I and type II specific immunoglobulins were not significantly affected. Intra-articular administration of an anti-CD40L (anti-CD154) antibody was similarly effective. Electrophoretic mobility shift analysis (EMSA) of nuclear extracts from synoviocytes incubated with the STAT-1 decoy ODN in vitro revealed an inhibitory effect on STAT-1. Furthermore, the STAT-1 decoy ODN inhibited the expression of CD40 mRNA in stimulated macrophages. The beneficial effects of the STAT-1 decoy ODN in experimental arthritis presumably mediated in part by affecting CD40 signalling in macrophages may provide the basis for a novel treatment of human RA.
PMCID: PMC1526583  PMID: 16507120
17.  Vitamin D receptor gene polymorphisms and susceptibility of hand osteoarthritis in Finnish women 
We examined whether polymorphisms of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene was associated with individual risk of hand osteoarthritis (OA). Radiographs of both hands of 295 dentists and of 248 teachers were examined and classified for the presence of OA using reference images. The VDR ApaI and TaqI genotypes were determined by PCR-based methods. No association was observed between the VDR polymorphisms and the odds of overall hand OA. However, the carriers of the VDR t allele or At haplotype were at almost half the odds of symmetrical hand OA (odds ratio [OR] = 0.60, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.38–0.94 and OR = 0.59, 95% CI = 0.38–0.93, respectively) compared with the carriers of the T allele and of the non-At haplotype, respectively. Increased odds of this disease, on the contrary, was observed for women with two copies of the VDR a allele (OR = 1.93, 95% CI = 1.99–3.70) compared with women with the AA genotype. Conversely, the VDR a allele carriage was associated with a tendency of lowered odds of osteophyte (OR = 0.51, 95% CI = 0.25–1.03). When the genotype data were used to construct haplotypes, the VDR AaTt joint genotype appeared to pose a remarkably lower odds (OR = 0.26, 95% CI = 0.08–0.91) of osteophyte compared with the AAtt joint genotype. As a novel finding we observed a joint effect of a low calcium intake and VDR polymorphisms on symmetrical OA; the OR was 2.64 (95% CI = 1.29–5.40) for carriers of the aT haplotype with low daily calcium intake compared with non-carriers of the haplotype with high daily calcium intake. Our results suggest that VDR gene polymorphisms play a role in the etiology of symmetrical hand OA. Moreover, the association between the VDR gene and OA may be modified by calcium intake.
PMCID: PMC1526549  PMID: 16507122
18.  Synovial expression of IL-15 in rheumatoid arthritis is not influenced by blockade of tumour necrosis factor 
Blockade of tumour necrosis factor (TNF) is an effective treatment in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but both non-responders and partial responders are quite frequent. This suggests that other pro-inflammatory cytokines may be of importance in the pathogenesis of RA and as possible targets for therapy. In this study we investigated the effect of TNF blockade (infliximab) on the synovial expression of IL-15 in RA in relation to different cell types and expression of other cytokines, to elucidate whether or not IL-15 is a possible target for therapy, independently of TNF blockade. Two arthroscopies with multiple biopsies were performed on nine patients with RA and knee-joint synovitis before and after three infusions of infliximab (3 mg/kg). Synovial biopsies were analysed with immunohistochemistry for expression of IL-15, TNF, IL-1α, IL-1ß and IFN-γ, and for the cell surface markers CD3, CD68 and CD163. Stained synovial biopsy sections were evaluated by computerized image analysis. IL-15 expression was detected in all synovial biopsies taken at baseline. After infliximab therapy, the expression of IL-15 was increased in four patients and reduced in five. Synovial expression of IL-15 was not correlated with any CD marker or with the presence of any other cytokine. Synovial cellularity was decreased after 8 to 10 weeks of treatment with a significant reduction of the CD68-positive synovial cells, whereas no significant change was seen in the number of CD3-positive T cells and CD163-expressing macrophages. The number of TNF-producing cells in the synovial tissue at baseline was correlated with a good response to therapy. Thus, in this study the synovial expression of IL-15 in RA was not consistently influenced by TNF blockade, being apparently independent of TNF expression in the synovium. Consequently, we propose that IL-15 should remain as a therapeutic target in RA, regardless of the response to TNF blockade.
PMCID: PMC1526582  PMID: 16507118
19.  PTPN22 polymorphism and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies in combination strongly predicts future onset of rheumatoid arthritis and has a specificity of 100% for the disease 
We analysed relationships between the PTPN22 1858 polymorphism and antibodies to cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP), rheumatoid factors (RFs) and the shared epitope (SE) gene (HLA-DRB1*0404 or 0401) and determined their combined predictive value for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in individuals who subsequently developed RA. This case-control study was nested within the Medical Biobank of Northern Sweden. Patients with RA (n = 92) were identified from amongst blood donors antedating onset of disease by a median of 2.4 (interquartile range 1.2 to 4.9) years. Matched controls were selected randomly from the same cohorts (n = 368). Anti-CCP antibodies and RFs were determined using enzyme-linked immunoassays. Genotyping was performed using an ABI PRISM 7900HT instrument and HLA-SE genes were identified using PCR sequence-specific primers. The 1858T allele and also carriage of T were associated with future onset of RA (odds ratio (OR) = 2.29, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.45–3.61 and OR = 2.64, 95% CI 1.56–4.47, respectively). The combination of the 1858T variant and anti-CCP antibodies gave 100% specificity for the disease. None of the 368 controls expressed this combination. The PTPN22 1858T variant and anti-CCP antibodies were clearly associated (OR = 3.80, 95% CI 1.51–9.57). A combination of the PTPN22 1858T variant and anti-CCP antibodies gave a much higher relative risk (>132.03) for developing RA than the combination of the T variant and HLA-SE (OR = 7.85). The PTPN22 1858T variant was associated with future development of RA. There was an association between the T variant and anti-CCP antibodies and their combination, found only among pre-patients, gives a very high relative risk for development of RA. The combination gave a specificity of 100% for diagnosing RA.
PMCID: PMC1526580  PMID: 16507117
20.  Fish oil: what the prescriber needs to know 
There is a general belief among doctors, in part grounded in experience, that patients with arthritis need nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Implicit in this view is that these patients require the symptomatic relief provided by inhibiting synthesis of nociceptive prostaglandin E2, a downstream product of the enzyme cyclo-oxygenase (COX), which is inhibited by NSAIDs. However, the concept of 'safe' NSAIDs has collapsed following a multiplicity of observations establishing increased risk for cardiovascular events associated with NSAID use, especially but not uniquely with the new COX-2-selective NSAIDs. This mandates greater parsimony in the use of these agents. Fish oils contain a natural inhibitor of COX, reduce reliance on NSAIDs, and reduce cardiovascular risk through multiple mechanisms. Fish oil thus warrants consideration as a component of therapy for arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis, in which its symptomatic benefits are well established. A major barrier to the therapeutic use of fish oil in inflammatory diseases is ignorance of its mechanism, range of beneficial effects, safety profile, availability of suitable products, effective dose, latency of effects and instructions for administration. This review provides an evidence-based resource for doctors and patients who may choose to prescribe or take fish oil.
PMCID: PMC1526555  PMID: 16542466
21.  Enumeration and phenotypical analysis of distinct dendritic cell subsets in psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis 
Dendritic cells (DCs) comprise heterogeneous subsets of professional antigen-presenting cells, linking innate and adaptive immunity. Analysis of DC subsets has been hampered by a lack of specific DC markers and reliable quantitation assays. We characterised the immunophenotype and functional characteristics of psoriatic arthritis (PsA)-derived and rheumatoid arthritis (RA)-derived myeloid DCs (mDCs) and plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) to evaluate their potential role in arthritis. Circulating peripheral blood (PB) pDC numbers were significantly reduced in PsA patients (P = 0.0098) and RA patients (P = 0.0194), and mDCs were significantly reduced in RA patients (P = 0.0086) compared with healthy controls. The number of circulating mDCs in RA PB was significantly inversely correlated to C-reactive protein (P = 0.021). The phenotype of both DC subsets in PsA PB and RA PB was immature as compared with healthy controls. Moreover, CD62L expression was significantly decreased on both mDCs (PsA, P = 0.0122; RA, P = 0.0371) and pDCs (PsA, P = 0.0373; RA, P = 0.0367) in PB. Both mDCs and pDCs were present in PsA synovial fluid (SF) and RA SF, with the mDC:pDC ratio significantly exceeding that in matched PB (PsA SF, P = 0.0453; RA SF, P = 0.0082). pDCs isolated from RA SF and PsA SF displayed an immature phenotype comparable with PB pDCs. RA and PsA SF mDCs, however, displayed a more mature phenotype (increased expression of CD80, CD83 and CD86) compared with PB mDCs. Functional analysis revealed that both SF DC subsets matured following toll-like receptor stimulation. pDCs from PB and SF produced interferon alpha and tumour necrosis factor alpha on TLR9 stimulation, but only SF pDCs produced IL-10. Similarly, mDCs from PB and SF produced similar tumour necrosis factor alpha levels to TLR2 agonism, whereas SF mDCs produced more IL-10 than PB controls. Circulating DC subset numbers are reduced in RA PB and PsA PB with reduced CD62L expression. Maturation is incomplete in the inflamed synovial compartment. Immature DCs in SF may contribute to the perpetuation of inflammation via sampling of the inflamed synovial environment, and in situ presentation of arthritogenic antigen.
PMCID: PMC1526567  PMID: 16507115
22.  Intra-articular injection of recombinant TRAIL induces synovial apoptosis and reduces inflammation in a rabbit knee model of arthritis 
We demonstrated previously that local, intra-articular injection of an adenoviral vector expressing human tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) in a rabbit knee model of inflammatory arthritis stimulated synovial apoptosis and reduced inflammation. To examine whether intra-articular injection of recombinant chimeric human TRAIL protein (rTRAIL) also induces apoptosis of proliferating rabbit synovium and reduces inflammation, we used an experimental rabbit arthritis model of rheumatoid arthritis, induced by intra-articular introduction of allogeneic fibroblasts genetically engineered to secrete human IL-1β. Analysis of synovium isolated from the rabbits treated with intra-articular injection of rTRAIL, relative to saline control, showed areas of extensive acellular debris and large fibrous regions devoid of intact cells, similar to adenoviral mediated TRAIL gene transfer. Extensive apoptosis of the synovial lining was demonstrated using TUNEL analysis of the sections, corresponding to the microscopic findings in hematoxylin and eosin staining. In addition, leukocyte infiltration into the synovial fluid of the inflamed knee joints following rTRAIL treatment was reduced more than 50% compared with the saline control. Analysis of the glycosaminoglycan synthetic rate by cultured cartilage using radiolabeled sulfur and cartilage histology demonstrated that rTRAIL did not adversely affect cartilage metabolism and structure. Analysis of serum alanine aminotransferase showed that intra-articular injection of rTRAIL did not have adverse effects on hepatic function. These results demonstrate that intra-articular injection of rTRAIL could be therapeutic for treating pathologies associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
PMCID: PMC1526576  PMID: 16507116
23.  Pooled indices to measure rheumatoid arthritis activity: a good reflection of the physician's mind? 
Several pooled indices for the assessment of rheumatoid arthritis disease activity are available to rheumatologists. Face and criterion validity of these instruments can be assessed by determining the association of their measurements with opinions of physicians. Several confounding aspects must be considered in such analyses, especially blinding of the person(s) making the decisions to the instruments being studied and to the objective of the study in general. From several studies in the literature, there is currently no evidence that any one of the available composite indices is better or worse than any other. The choice of index in clinical practice should ideally be based on practical considerations related to the needs of the rheumatologist in the respective health care setting.
PMCID: PMC1526578  PMID: 16542465
24.  Partial protection against collagen antibody-induced arthritis in PARP-1 deficient mice 
Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) is a nuclear DNA-binding protein that participates in the regulation of DNA repair and maintenance of genomic integrity. In addition, PARP-1 has a role in several models of inflammation disease, where its absence or inactivation confers protection. The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of selective PARP-1 suppression in collagen antibody-induced arthritis. We show that PARP-1 deficiency partially reduces the severity of arthritis, although the incidence of disease was similar in control and deficient mice. Decreased clinical scores were accompanied by partial reduction of histopathological findings. Interestingly, quantitative real-time PCR and ELISA analysis revealed that the absence of PARP-1 down-regulated IL-1β and monocyte chemotactic protein 1 expression in arthritic joints whereas tumor necrosis factor-α transcription was not impaired. Our results provide evidence of the contribution of PARP-1 to the progression of arthritis and identify this protein as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
PMCID: PMC1526570  PMID: 16356201
25.  In adult onset myositis, the presence of interstitial lung disease and myositis specific/associated antibodies are governed by HLA class II haplotype, rather than by myositis subtype 
The aim of this study was to investigate HLA class II associations in polymyositis (PM) and dermatomyositis (DM), and to determine how these associations influence clinical and serological differences. DNA samples were obtained from 225 UK Caucasian idiopathic inflammatory myopathy patients (PM = 117, DM = 108) and compared with 537 randomly selected UK Caucasian controls. All cases had also been assessed for the presence of related malignancy and interstitial lung disease (ILD), and a number of myositis-specific/myositis-associated antibodies (MSAs/MAAs). Subjects were genotyped for HLA-DRB1, DQA1 and DQB1. HLA-DRB1*03, DQA1*05 and DQB1*02 were associated with an increased risk for both PM and DM. The HLA-DRB1*03-DQA1*05-DQB1*02 haplotype demonstrated strong association with ILD, irrespective of myositis subtype or presence of anti-aminoacyl-transfer RNA synthetase antibodies. The HLA-DRB1*07-DQA1*02-DQB1*02 haplotype was associated with risk for anti-Mi-2 antibodies, and discriminated PM from DM (odds ratio 0.3, 95% confidence interval 0.1–0.6), even in anti-Mi-2 negative patients. Other MSA/MAAs showed specific associations with other HLA class II haplotypes, irrespective of myositis subtype. There were no genotype, haplotype or serological associations with malignancy. The HLA-DRB1*03-DQA1*05-DQB1*02 haplotype associations appear to not only govern disease susceptibility in Caucasian PM/DM patients, but also phenotypic features common to PM/DM. Though strongly associated with anti-Mi-2 antibodies, the HLA-DRB1*07-DQA1*02-DQB1*02 haplotype shows differential associations with PM/DM disease susceptibility. In conclusion, these findings support the notion that myositis patients with differing myositis serology have different immunogenetic profiles, and that these profiles may define specific myositis subtypes.
PMCID: PMC1526560  PMID: 16507114

Results 1-25 (391)