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PubMed | University of Miami, 2 Center for Pulmonary Functional Imaging, Harvard University, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute and 3 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine | Year: 2015

Interstitial lung disease (ILD), a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), is highly prevalent, yet RA-ILD is underrecognized.To identify clinical risk factors, autoantibodies, and biomarkers associated with the presence of RA-ILD.Subjects enrolled in Brigham and Womens Hospital Rheumatoid Arthritis Sequential Study (BRASS) and American College of Rheumatology (ACR) cohorts were evaluated for ILD. Regression models were used to assess the association between variables of interest and RA-ILD. Receiver operating characteristic curves were generated in BRASS to determine if a combination of clinical risk factors and autoantibodies can identify RA-ILD and if the addition of investigational biomarkers is informative. This combinatorial signature was subsequently tested in ACR.A total of 113 BRASS subjects with clinically indicated chest computed tomography scans (41% with a spectrum of clinically evident and subclinical RA-ILD) and 76 ACR subjects with research or clinical scans (51% with a spectrum of RA-ILD) were selected. A combination of age, sex, smoking, rheumatoid factor, and anticyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies was strongly associated with RA-ILD (areas under the curve, 0.88 for BRASS and 0.89 for ACR). Importantly, a combinatorial signature including matrix metalloproteinase 7, pulmonary and activation-regulated chemokine, and surfactant protein D significantly increased the areas under the curve to 0.97 (P=0.002, BRASS) and 1.00 (P=0.016, ACR). Similar trends were seen for both clinically evident and subclinical RA-ILD.Clinical risk factors and autoantibodies are strongly associated with the presence of clinically evident and subclinical RA-ILD on computed tomography scan in two independent RA cohorts. A biomarker signature composed of matrix metalloproteinase 7, pulmonary and activation-regulated chemokine, and surfactant protein D significantly strengthens this association. These findings may facilitate identification of RA-ILD at an earlier stage, potentially leading to decreased morbidity and mortality.

PubMed | Brigham and Women's Hospital, Immunology and Allergy and., American University of Beirut and Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Human molecular genetics | Year: 2016

Notch signaling has recently emerged as an important regulator of immune responses in autoimmune diseases. The recombination signal-binding protein for immunoglobulin kappa J region (RBPJ) is a transcriptional repressor, but converts into a transcriptional activator upon activation of the canonical Notch pathway. Genome-wide association studies of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) identified a susceptibility locus, rs874040(CC), which implicated the RBPJ gene. Here, chromatin state mapping generated using the chromHMM algorithm reveals strong enhancer regions containing DNase I hypersensitive sites overlapping the rs874040 linkage disequilibrium block in human memory, but not in nave CD4(+) T cells. The rs874040 overlapping this chromatin state was associated with increased RBPJ expression in stimulated memory CD4(+) T cells from healthy subjects homozygous for the risk allele (CC) compared with memory CD4(+) T cells bearing the protective allele (GG). Transcriptomic analysis of rs874040(CC) memory T cells showed a repression of canonical Notch target genes IL (interleukin)-9, IL-17 and interferon (IFN) in the basal state. Interestingly, activation of the Notch pathway using soluble Notch ligand, Jagged2-Fc, induced IL-9 and IL-17A while delta-like 4Fc, another Notch ligand, induced higher IFN expression in the rs874040(CC) memory CD4(+) T cells compared with their rs874040(GG) counterparts. In RA, RBPJ expression is elevated in memory T cells from RA patients compared with control subjects, and this was associated with induced inflammatory cytokines IL-9, IL-17A and IFN in response to Notch ligation in vitro. These findings demonstrate that the rs874040(CC) allele skews memory T cells toward a pro-inflammatory phenotype involving Notch signaling, thus increasing the susceptibility to develop RA.

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