Anti-Ro52 positivity is associated with progressive interstitial lung disease in systemic sclerosis-an exploratory study

Viggo Hamberg, Azita Sohrabian, Elizabeth R Volkmann, Marie Wildt, Anna Löfdahl, Dirk M Wuttge, Roger Hesselstrand, Göran Dellgren, Gunilla Westergren-Thorsson, Johan Rönnelid, Kristofer Andréasson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is the most common cause of death in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). Prognostic biomarkers are needed to identify SSc-ILD patients at risk for progressive pulmonary fibrosis. This study investigates autoantibodies measured in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid and in serum in reference to the clinical disease course of SSc-ILD.

METHODS: Fifteen patients with new onset SSc-ILD underwent bronchoscopy. Autoantibody levels were analyzed using addressable laser bead immunoassay from BAL fluid and the serum. In a separate longitudinal cohort of 43 patients with early SSc-ILD, autoantibodies in serum were measured at baseline and pulmonary function tests were performed at least 2 times over the course of at least 2 or more years. Linear mixed effect models were created to investigate the relationship between specific autoantibodies and progression of SSc-ILD. Finally, lung tissue from healthy controls and from subjects with SSc was analyzed for the presence of the Ro52 antigen using immunohistochemistry.

RESULTS: Among SSc-ILD patients who were positive for anti-Ro52 (N = 5), 3 (60%) had enrichment of anti-Ro52 in BAL fluid at a ratio exceeding 50x. In the longitudinal cohort, 10/43 patients (23%) were anti-Ro52 positive and 16/43 (37%) were anti-scl-70 positive. Presence of anti-Scl-70 was associated with a lower vital capacity (VC) at baseline (-12.6% predicted VC [%pVC]; 95%CI: -25.0, -0.29; p = 0.045), but was not significantly associated with loss of lung function over time (-1.07%pVC/year; 95%CI: -2.86, 0.71; p = 0.230). The presence of anti-Ro52 was significantly associated with the loss of lung function over time (-2.41%pVC/year; 95% CI: -4.28, -0.54; p = 0.013). Rate of loss of lung function increased linearly with increasing anti-Ro52 antibody levels (-0.03%pVC per arbitrary units/mL and year; 95%CI: -0.05, -0.02; p < 0.001). Immunohistochemical staining localized the Ro52 antigen to alveolar M2 macrophages in peripheral lung tissue both in subjects with and without SSc.

CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that antibodies targeting Ro52 are enriched in the lungs of patients with new-onset SSc-ILD, linking Ro52 autoimmunity to the pulmonary pathology of SSc. Clinical and immunohistochemical data corroborates these findings and suggest that anti-Ro52 may serve as a potential biomarker of progressive SSc-ILD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number162
Pages (from-to)1-13
JournalArthritis Research & Therapy
Volume25
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Sept 4

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Rheumatology and Autoimmunity

Free keywords

  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial
  • Scleroderma, Systemic/complications
  • Autoantibodies
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Scleroderma, Diffuse

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Anti-Ro52 positivity is associated with progressive interstitial lung disease in systemic sclerosis-an exploratory study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this