Light chain skewing in autoantibodies and B-cell receptors of the citrullinated antigen-binding B-cell response in rheumatoid arthritis.

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From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 16, Issue 3)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 8,425 words
Lexile Measure: 1580L

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Abstract :

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease affecting 1% of the world population. RA is associated with the presence of autoantibodies, of which anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA) are most prominent. ACPA are produced by citrullinated antigen-binding B cells that have presumably survived tolerance checkpoints. So far, it is unclear how and when such autoreactive B cells emerge. Light chain (LC) rearrangement and mutation rates can be informative with regard to selection steps during B-cell development. Therefore, we studied LC characteristics of ACPA-expressing B cells and secreted ACPA with the aim to better understand the development of this disease-specific, autoreactive B-cell response. Paired ACPA-IgG and ACPA-depleted IgG were isolated from serum (n = 87) and synovial fluid (SF, n = 21) of patients with established RA. We determined the LC composition for each fraction by ELISA using kappa(Ig[kappa])- and lambda(Ig[lambda]) LC-specific antibodies. Cellular LC expression was determined using flow cytometry. In addition, we used a B-cell receptor (BCR)-specific PCR to obtain LC variable region sequences of citrullinated antigen- and tetanus toxoid (TT)-binding B cells. In serum, we observed an increased frequency of lambda LC in ACPA-IgG (1.64:1) compared to control IgG (2.03:1) and to the [kappa]/[lambda] ratio reported for healthy individuals (2:1). A similar trend towards higher frequencies of lambda LCs was observed for ACPA-IgG in SF (1.84:1). Additionally, the percentage of Ig[lambda]-expressing B cells was higher for citrullinated antigen-binding B cells (51%) compared to TT-specific (43%) and total CD19.sup.+ CD20.sup.+ B cells (36%). Moreover, an increased Ig[lambda] percentage was observed in BCR-sequences derived from ACPA-expressing (49%) compared to TT-specific B cells (34%). Taken together, we report an enhanced frequency of lambda LCs in the secreted ACPA-IgG repertoire and, on the cellular level, in BCR sequences of ACPA-expressing B cells compared to control. This skewing in the autoreactive B-cell repertoire could reflect a process of active selection.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A656785261