Anomalies of intra-synovial citrullination: Is there any interest in the diagnosis of early rheumatoid arthritis?

Mrabet, Dalila; Laadhar, Lilia; Haouet, Slim; Sahli, Héla; Zouari, Béchir; Makni, Sondès; Sellami, Slaheddine
March 2013
Rheumatology International;Mar2013, Vol. 33 Issue 3, p787
Academic Journal
Autoantibodies to citrullinated proteins (ACPA) are specifically associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and seem to play an important role in its pathogenesis. The specific immunological conflict between ACPA and citrullinated fibrin plays a major role in the self-maintenance of synovial inflammation by forming fibrin deposits in the synovial tissue. These deposits, secondarily citrullinated by a local peptidylarginine deiminase (PADI) enzyme activity, seem to maintain the immunological conflict and the inflammation. Our objective in this work is to study the anomalies of citrullination in a group of patients with early RA, in comparison with a control group of patients suffering from undetermined inflammatory arthritis, osteoarthritis and spondyloarthropathy. For this purpose, we used an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to determine the levels of ACPA in serum and synovial fluid. By immunohistochemistry, subtype 4 of PADI was also sought in the synovial biopsies taken from all our patients. We found that the ACPA levels in serum and synovial fluid were significantly higher in patients with RA. The enzyme PADI4 was found only in the group with RA and was statistically correlated with ACPA mean levels in sera and synovial fluid. The expression of PADI4 seems to correlate with intra-synovial deposits of fibrin in RA. However, determination of synovial ACPA levels and detection of intra-synovial PADI4 deposits are of no additional benefit compared with assessment of ACPA levels in serum for the diagnosis of early RA.


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