Special Issue "Rheumatoid Arthritis and Other Inflammatory Diseases: From Pathogenesis through Therapeutic Targets to Personalized Medicine"

A special issue of Journal of Clinical Medicine (ISSN 2077-0383). This special issue belongs to the section "Immunology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Agnieszka Paradowska‑Gorycka
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Molecular Biology, National Institute of Geriatrics, Rheumatology and Rehabilitation, Warsaw, Poland
Interests: autoimmunity; genetics; epigenetics; personalized medicine; T cells; Toll-like receptors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Arthritis, as well as inflammation, is a common health problem in the global population affecting millions of people, and a leading cause of disability. Every day, patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or other inflammatory diseases take drugs without efficient results. Early diagnosis of these patients is significant insomuch as primary treatment can be started better. Appropriate selection of convenient and safe therapy may be an effective tool not only to relieve symptoms of the disease but also to improve the length and quality of life, and for the remission of the disease. The reason for this variability between individuals is unclear, but it leads to studies identifying biomarkers predictive of the treatment response. The use of traditional markers that have been clinically useful in the context of personalized medicine is insufficient. Therefore, an individual approach to each patient is crucial. There is a huge demand for reliable biomarkers associated with response to biological treatments to improve reactivity and reduce treatment costs. Pharmacogenetic and pharmacogenomic studies, which help to determine the genetic profile of individual patients, may bring us closer to personalized medicine.

Dr. Agnieszka Paradowska‑Gorycka
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • genetics/epigenetics
  • pathogenesis
  • therapy
  • biomarkers
  • diagnosis

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Postprandial Apolipoprotein B48 is Associated with Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(8), 2483; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9082483 - 02 Aug 2020
Abstract
Objective: To describe postprandial lipemia in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and to analyze its association with subclinical atherosclerosis measured as carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT). Methods: We performed an observational study of 40 patients with RA and 40 sex and age-matched controls. Patients [...] Read more.
Objective: To describe postprandial lipemia in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and to analyze its association with subclinical atherosclerosis measured as carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT). Methods: We performed an observational study of 40 patients with RA and 40 sex and age-matched controls. Patients with dyslipidemia were excluded. Pathologically increased cIMT was defined as a carotid thickness greater than the 90th percentile (>p90) for age and sex. Fasting and postprandial plasma lipids, cholesterol, triglycerides, apolipoprotein B48 (ApoB48), and total ApoB were evaluated. The other variables included were clinical and laboratory values, Framingham score, and the 28-joint Disease Activity Score (DAS28). Two multivariate models were constructed to identify factors associated with pathologic cIMT in patients with RA. Results: Fasting lipid values were similar in patients with RA and controls, although those of postprandial ApoB48 were higher (median (IQR), 14.4 (10.8–12.1) vs. 12.1 (2.3–9,8); p = 0.042). Pathologic cIMT was recorded in 10 patients with RA (25%) and nine controls (22.5%). In patients with RA, pathologic cIMT was associated with postprandial ApoB48 (OR (95% CI), 1.15 (1.0–1.3)) and total ApoB (OR [95% CI], 1.12 [1.1–1.2]). The second model revealed a mean increase of 0.256 mm for cIMT in patients with elevated anticitrullinated protein antibodies (ACPAs). Conclusion: Postprandial ApoB48 levels in patients with RA are higher than in controls. Postprandial ApoB48 and total ApoB levels and markers of severity, such as ACPAs, are associated with pathologic cIMT in patients with RA. Our findings could indicate that these atherogenic particles have a negative effect on the endothelium. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Peptidyl Arginine Deiminase Type 4 Gene Promoter Hypo-Methylation in Rheumatoid Arthritis
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2049; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072049 - 30 Jun 2020
Abstract
Protein citrullination is carried out by peptidylarginine deiminase type 4 (PAD4) enzyme. As a consequence of this process, post-translationally modified proteins are formed that become antigens for anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA). The study aimed at identifying whether the PADI4 gene is subject to [...] Read more.
Protein citrullination is carried out by peptidylarginine deiminase type 4 (PAD4) enzyme. As a consequence of this process, post-translationally modified proteins are formed that become antigens for anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA). The study aimed at identifying whether the PADI4 gene is subject to epigenetic regulation through methylation of its promoter region, whether the degree of methylation differs in healthy individuals vs. rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and changes in correlation with ACPA, anti-PAD4 and disease activity. A total of 125 RA patients and 30 healthy controls were enrolled. Quantitative real-time methylation-specific PCR was used to analyze the methylation status. ACPA and anti-PAD4 antibodies were determined in serum by enzyme-linked immunosorbent immunoassay. The differences were observed in the degree of PADI4 gene promoter methylation between RA patients and HC, along with an upward trend for the methylation in RA, which was inversely proportional to the disease activity. A weak or modest negative correlation between the degree of PADI4 gene methylation and anti-PAD4, disease activity score (DAS28) and ACPA level has been found. The elevated methylation is associated with lower disease activity, lower levels of ACPA and aPAD4. The methylation degree in this area is growing up during effective treatment and might play a role in the RA pathophysiology and therefore could be a future therapeutic target. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Clinical, Radiological, and Laboratory Features of Spinal Cord Involvement in Primary Sjögren’s Syndrome
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(5), 1482; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9051482 - 14 May 2020
Abstract
Objective: To identify radiological and laboratory hallmarks in patients with primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS) presenting with spinal cord involvement. Methods: Clinical and laboratory routine parameters were analyzed in a retrospective multicenter case series of four patients who developed myelitis associated with pSS. Serological [...] Read more.
Objective: To identify radiological and laboratory hallmarks in patients with primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS) presenting with spinal cord involvement. Methods: Clinical and laboratory routine parameters were analyzed in a retrospective multicenter case series of four patients who developed myelitis associated with pSS. Serological and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) measurements of pSS associated anti-SSA(Ro)-antibodies were initiated, and CSF neurofilament light chain (NFL) levels were assessed. NFL values were compared with results from 15 sex- and age-matched healthy controls. Radiological assessment was performed using multi-sequence spinal cord magnetic resonance imaging. Results: Three of the four patients initially developed neurological signs suggestive of myelitis and were subsequently diagnosed with pSS. All patients presented a longitudinal spinal T2-hyperintense lesion in the cervical spinal cord, whereas only two patients showed pleocytosis and oligoclonal bands in the CSF. Median (range) CSF-NFL levels were significantly elevated in patients compared to controls (6672 pg/mL (621–50,000) vs. 585 pg/mL (357–729), p = 0.009). One patient showed sustained, highly increased NFL levels (50,000 pg/mL) in the initial assessment when radiological signs of axonal injury were still absent. Anti-SSA(Ro)-antibodies were found in the serum of three patients, while two patients additionally presented intrathecal anti-SSA(Ro)-antibody production. Elevated CSF-NFL levels and intrathecal synthesis of anti-SSA(Ro)-antibodies were associated with a relapsing and treatment-resistant disease course. Conclusion: Inflammatory spinal cord lesions associated with pSS are a rare but serious disease leading to severe disability. NFL and anti-SSA(Ro)-antibodies in CSF might serve as prognostic biomarkers and should be routinely assessed in patients with pSS. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Peripheral Blood Lymphocyte Phenotype Differentiates Secondary Antibody Deficiency in Rheumatic Disease from Primary Antibody Deficiency
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(4), 1049; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9041049 - 07 Apr 2020
Abstract
The phenotype of primary immunodeficiency disorders (PID), and especially common variable immunodeficiency (CVID), may be dominated by symptoms of autoimmune disorders. Furthermore, autoimmunity may be the first manifestation of PID, frequently preceding infections and the diagnosis of hypogammaglobulinemia, which occurs later on. In [...] Read more.
The phenotype of primary immunodeficiency disorders (PID), and especially common variable immunodeficiency (CVID), may be dominated by symptoms of autoimmune disorders. Furthermore, autoimmunity may be the first manifestation of PID, frequently preceding infections and the diagnosis of hypogammaglobulinemia, which occurs later on. In this case, distinguishing PID from hypogammaglobulinemia secondary to anti-inflammatory treatment of autoimmunity may become challenging. The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of peripheral blood lymphocyte phenotyping in resolving the diagnostic dilemma between primary and secondary hypogammaglobulinemia. Comparison of B and T cell subsets from patients with PID and patients with rheumatic disease, who developed hypogammaglobulinemia as a consequence of anti-inflammatory regimes, revealed significant differences in proportion of naïve B cells, class-switched memory B cells and CD21low B cells among B cells as well as in CD4+ memory T cells and CD4+ T follicular cells among CD4+ T cells. Identified differences in B cell and T cell subsets, and especially in the proportion of class-switched memory B cells and CD4+ T follicular cells, display a considerable diagnostic efficacy in distinguishing PID from secondary hypogammaglobulinemia due to anti-inflammatory regimens for rheumatic disease. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Expansion of Rare and Harmful Lineages is Associated with Established Rheumatoid Arthritis
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(4), 1044; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9041044 - 07 Apr 2020
Abstract
Objectives: To characterize the gut microbiota profile in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and investigate its association with certain characteristics of RA. Patients and methods: A nested case–control cohort of 40 patients with RA and 40 sex-age matched controls was studied. Subjects with diabetes, [...] Read more.
Objectives: To characterize the gut microbiota profile in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and investigate its association with certain characteristics of RA. Patients and methods: A nested case–control cohort of 40 patients with RA and 40 sex-age matched controls was studied. Subjects with diabetes, with any other inflammatory disease, practicing extreme diets, taking antibiotics, probiotics or under any new treatment for at least three months prior to sampling were excluded. The microbiota composition was determined by 16S rRNA pyrosequencing and bioinformatics analysis by Quantitative Insights Into Microbial Ecology (QIIME). Other variables included clinical-laboratory variables and average Disease Activity Score 28 points during the follow-up period. Multiple linear regression models were constructed to investigate the possible risk factors for the microbiota. Results: β-diversity data showed that patients tend to differ from healthy subjects according to their microbiota (p = 0.07). The analysis showed an increase in Collinsella aerofaciens, Sedimentibacter and Enterococcus genera in patients compared to controls, as well as a decrease in Dorea formicigenerans. Likewise, an increase in the activity of arginine deiminase was observed, which was found in approximately 90% of the RA genes of the genus Collinsela. The sequence number of Collinsella aerofaciens was independently associated with age (B (95%CI), −0.347 (−21.6, −2.1)), high ACPA (0.323 (27.4–390.0)) and smoking (0.300 (8.8–256.4)) in RA patients. In addition, we observed decreases in Sarcina, 02d06 and Porphyromonas bacterial lineages. Conclusion: Patients with RA present dysbiosis, resulting from an abundance of certain bacterial lineages and a decrease in others. These alterations could influence the maintenance of autoimmunity to this disease. Full article
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