Antibodies to Citrullinated Protein Antigens, Rheumatoid Factor Isotypes and the Shared Epitope and the Near-Term Development of Clinically-Apparent Rheumatoid Arthritis

Dylan T. Bergstedt, Wyatt J. Tarter, Ryan A. Peterson, Marie L. Feser, Mark C. Parish, Christopher C. Striebich, M. Kristen Demoruelle, Laura Kay Moss, Elizabeth A. Bemis, Jill M. Norris, V. Michael Holers, Jess D. Edison, Geoffrey M. Thiele, Ted R. Mikuls, Kevin D. Deane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background/Purpose: In rheumatoid arthritis (RA) autoantibodies including antibodies to citrullinated protein antigens (ACPA) and rheumatoid factor (RF) can be predictive of incident clinical RA. However, there is limited understanding of how antibody changes over time impact prediction of the likelihood and timing of future clinical RA. Materials and Methods: We evaluated relationships between ACPA, the shared epitope (SE), RF isotypes and incident RA in a prospective cohort of 90 ACPA(+) individuals without baseline arthritis identified through health-fair testing (i.e. Healthfair). We also evaluated ACPA and RF isotypes and time-to-diagnosis of RA in a retrospective cohort of 215 individuals with RA from the Department of Defense Serum Repository (DoDSR). Results: Twenty-six of 90 (29%) of ACPA(+) Healthfair participants developed incident RA. Baseline or incident dual RF-IgA and RF-IgM positivity was associated with increased risk for incident RA (HR 3.09; 95% CI 1.15 to 8.29) although RFs were negative in ~50% of individuals with incident RA. SE was associated with increased risk of RA (HR 2.87, 95% CI 1.22-6.76). In the DoDSR cohort, triple positivity for ACPA, RF-IgA and RF-IgM was present a median of 1-2 years prior to RA diagnosis, with some sex-specific differences. Conclusion: These findings can be used to counsel individuals at-risk for future RA and to design clinical trials for RA prevention. The findings also suggest that RF could be a surrogate outcome as a success of an immunologic intervention in RA prevention. Additional studies are needed to understand the biologic of different patterns of autoantibody elevations in RA evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number916277
JournalFrontiers in immunology
Volume13
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 22 2022

Keywords

  • antibodies to citrullinated protein antigens (ACPA)
  • pre-rheumatoid arthritis (pre-RA)
  • prediction of future rheumatoid arthritis
  • rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
  • rheumatoid factor (RF)
  • shared epitope (SE)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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