BAFF expression correlates with idiopathic inflammatory myopathy disease activity measures and autoantibodies.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate B cell survival cytokine messenger RNA (mRNA) levels as biomarkers of idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIM). METHODS: We measured and compared mRNA levels of B cell survival cytokines by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction in 98 patients with IIM, 38 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, and 21 healthy controls. The cytokines were B cell-activating factor belonging to the tumor necrosis factor family (BAFF); ΔBAFF; and a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL); and their receptors BAFF-R, transmembrane activator and calcium modulator and cyclophilin ligand interactor, and B cell maturation antigen (BCMA). We also identified autoantibodies, including anti-Sm, anti-RNP, anti-SSA/Ro, anti-SSB/La, anti-topoisomerase 1, anti-hystidyl-tRNA synthetase, anti-ribosomal P, and anti-chromatin. Clinical disease activity was assessed by the International Myositis Assessment and Clinical Studies core set tool. We examined correlation of mRNA with disease activity, medication use, and autoantibodies. RESULTS: We found a positive correlation of BAFF and ΔBAFF expression with 3 disease activity measures, with ΔBAFF having a stronger correlation. Similarly, anti-SSA/Ro-52 and/or anti-SSA/Ro-60 had a strong positive correlation with mRNA levels of BAFF and ΔBAFF, and with relative ratios of BAFF/APRIL and BCMA/BAFF-R. CONCLUSION: These findings highlight the potential importance of BAFF, ΔBAFF, and BAFF-R in the pathogenesis of IIM, and suggest an important role in the assessment of disease activity.
López De Padilla, CM; McNallan, KT; Crowson, CS; Bilgic, H; Bram, RJ; Hein, MS; Ytterberg, SR; Amin, S; Peterson, EJ; Baechler, EC; Reed, AM
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