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Rheumatoid Factor Isotypes in Relation to Antibodies Against Citrullinated Peptides and Anti-Carbamylated Antibodies in Individuals Before the Onset of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Reumatology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Statistics.
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2016 (English)In: Arthritis Research & Therapy, ISSN 1478-6354, E-ISSN 1478-6362, Vol. 18, 43Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: The presence of rheumatoid factor (RF), anti-carbamylated protein antibodies (anti-CarP) and antibodies against citrullinated protein and peptides (ACPA) precedes the onset of symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) by several years. Relationships between the development of these antibodies are not obvious. 

Methods: Three isotypes [immunoglobulin A (IgA), IgG and IgM) of RF were analysed in 321 pre-symptomatic individuals who provided 598 samples collected a median of 6.2 (interquartile range 7.2) years before the onset of symptoms, and in 492 population control subjects. All samples were donated to the Biobank of Northern Sweden. RF isotypes were analysed using the EliA system (Phadia GmbH, Freiburg, Germany) with 96 % specificity according to receiver operating characteristic curves. Ten ACPA specificities were analysed using the ImmunoCAP ISAC system, and anti-CCP2 and anti-CarP antibodies were evaluated using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. 

Results: The frequencies of RF isotypes in pre-symptomatic individuals were significantly increased compared with control subjects (p < 0.0001). In samples collected >= 15 years before the onset of symptoms, the IgA-RF isotype was significantly more prevalent than the most frequent ACPAs. Combinations of IgM- and IgA-RF isotypes with ACPA specificities [a-enolase (CEP-1/Eno(5-21))], fibrinogen (Fib)beta(36-52), Fiba(580-600), filaggrin (CCP-1/Fil(307-324)) and anti-CCP2 antibodies were associated with a significantly shorter time to onset of symptoms (p < 0.001-0.05). Using conditional inference tree analysis, anti-CCP2 in combination with anti-filaggrin antibodies gave the highest probability, 97.5 %, for disease development. 

Conclusions: RF isotypes predicted the development of RA, particularly in combination with ACPA, anti-CCP2 or anti-CarP antibodies. The highest probability for disease development was the presence of anti-CCP2 and anti-filaggrin antibodies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 18, 43
Keyword [en]
Rheumatoid arthritis, Rheumatoid factor, Anti-citrullinated peptide antibodies, Pre-symptomatic individuals, Anti-carbamylated protein antibodies, Anti-CCP2 antibodies
National Category
Rheumatology and Autoimmunity
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-102852DOI: 10.1186/s13075-016-0940-2ISI: 000370007700002PubMedID: 26860413OAI: diva2:810602

Originally included in thesis in manuscript form, with the title "Rheumatoid Factor Isotypes in Relation to Antibodies Against Citrullinated Peptides and Anti-Carbamylated Antibodies in Individuals Before the Onset of Rheumatoid Arthritis"

Available from: 2015-05-07 Created: 2015-05-07 Last updated: 2016-04-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Presence of immunological markers preceding the onset of rheumatoid arthritis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Presence of immunological markers preceding the onset of rheumatoid arthritis
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Förekomst av immunologiska markörer som föregår debuten av reumatoid artrit
Abstract [en]

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease with an unknown aetiology characterized by joint destruction. Both genetic and environmental factors contribute to the disease development with HLA-DRB1* alleles and smoking identified as most important. The disease is characterized by the presence of autoantibodies, originally by rheumatoid factor (RF) and more recently by anti citrullinated protein/peptide antibodies (ACPA) and antibodies against carbamylated peptides (CarP). These autoantibodies are present, not only after the onset of disease, but also prior to the onset of symptoms. The development of RA is a gradual process lasting several years before the onset of any joint symptom, but when and if there is a temporal difference in the development both between and within the different antibody systems is currently unknown. B-cells produce the antibodies, and a subset of B-cells, i.e., B-regulatory (Breg) cells, produces interleukin-10, and thus have the ability to down-regulate pro-inflammatory cytokines. Whether the Breg cells are involved in the pathogenesis of RA is, as yet, unknown.

The aim of this thesis was to increase knowledge of the pathophysiological processes in the development of RA through identification of factors involved. The analyses involved detection of autoantibodies to post-translationally modified peptides/proteins in addition to RF isotypes, cell surface markers on immune cells in asymptomatic individuals, who have an increased risk of developing RA. In a co-analysis of the registers of patients with RA attending the Department of Rheumatology, with the registers from population based screening programmes within the Biobank of Northern Sweden, blood samples collected from individuals prior to the onset of symptoms were identified, as were those from population control subjects. A cohort of pre-symptomatic individuals also donated samples at the time of receiving a diagnosis of RA. First-degree relatives (FDR) of patients with RA were also identified and included for analyses.

The levels of ten different ACPAs, i.e., (fibrinogen (Fib) α563-583(573), Fibα580-600(591), Fibβ62-81a(72), Fibβ62-81b(74), Fibβ36-52, a-enolase (CEP-1), triple helical collagen type II (citC1III), filaggrin (Fil307-324), vimentin (Vim) 2-17, and Vim60-75) were measured using the ImmunoCAP ISAC system (Phadia/ThermoFischer, Uppsala, Sweden) in blood samples from individuals before the onset of symptoms and when diagnosed with RA in comparison with those in population based controls. In a subset of samples, the levels of anti-CarP antibodies were measured using ELISA coated with anti-CarP-FCS, as well as analysis of RF of IgM, IgG and IgA isotype using the EliA assay (Phadia, Uppsala, Sweden). Breg cells were analysed both with and without stimulation ex vivo along with other cell types using flow cytometry in samples from patients with RA, their first degree relatives (FDR) and healthy controls.

In paper I it was shown that levels of ACPA were initially restricted to a few antibodies but disseminated over time to involve additional different antibodies. The levels of antibodies to CEP-1, Fibß36-52, and filaggrin were significantly increased. In paper II, anti-CarP antibodies were positive in 5-13% of the individuals negative for the various ACPA studied. The presence of anti-CarP antibodies was significantly related to radiological destruction of joints at baseline, at follow-up after 24 months and to the radiological progress between baseline and 24months. In paper III, the relationships between the frequencies of RF isotypes, the ten different ACPA, anti-CCP2 and anti-CarP antibodies before the onset of any symptoms and the presence of certain combinations of antibodies were associated with a very high risk of developing RA. In paper IV Breg cells from patients with RA are functionally impaired and FDR showed a similar pattern by responding less to stimulation ex vivo than cells from healthy controls.

In conclusion, individuals who subsequently develop RA have an increased number and amount of ACPAs, anti-CarP antibodies and RF of IgM, IgG and IgA isotype, several years before symptom onset. Most of the different antibodies analysed remain associated with disease development after adjustments for each separate antibody. In FDRs, Breg cells were functionally altered in that they produce less IL-10 and consequently contribute to a more inflammation-prone status, as in their relatives with RA. These findings contribute to information about the development of RA as well as a given individual’s risk(s) of developing RA and its progression.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet, 2015. 69 p.
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1714
autoantibodies, rheumatoid arthritis, anti citrullinated protein antibodies, pre-symptomatic individual
National Category
Rheumatology and Autoimmunity
Research subject
Immunology; Medicine, rheumatology
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-102589 (URN)978-91-7601-259-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-05-29, Sal D, Målpunkt T, vån9, Norrlands Universitetssjukhus, Umeå, 09:00 (Swedish)
Swedish Research Council, K2010-52X-20307-04-3Swedish Research Council, K2011-68X-20611-04-3EU, European Research CouncilThe King Gustaf V's Jubilee Foundation
Available from: 2015-05-08 Created: 2015-04-28 Last updated: 2015-05-08Bibliographically approved

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