Autoantibodies to heat shock proteins 60, 70, and 90 in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
Heat shock proteins (HSP) have been reported to impact immune responses and to be associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Recently, we provided evidence for a role of autoantibodies to Hsp40 in patients with RA. In this study, we aimed at investigating the humoral autoimmune response to Hsp60, Hsp70, and Hsp90 in RA patients (n = 39). In comparison with healthy controls (n = 40), circulating IgG, IgM, and IgA autoantibodies against Hsp60, Hsp70, and Hsp90 were significantly increased in RA patients. Non-parametric statistical analysis, however, revealed no significant association between anti-HSP and disease activity or disease progression. On the other hand, positive correlations between serum levels of anti-Hsp60 IgG and IL-4 (Th2-like cytokine) or between serum levels of anti-Hsp90 IgG and IFN-ɣ (Th1-like cytokine) were found to be statistically significant in RA. In addition, a significant inverse correlation was found for serum levels of anti-Hsp70 IgM and TNF-α (Th1-like cytokine) in RA. Our results suggest a pronounced anti-Hsp60, anti-Hsp70, and anti-Hsp90 humoral autoimmune response in RA patients that seems not to be directly linked to RA pathophysiology, however, may have a potential modulatory impact on inflammatory status in this disease. Further investigations are needed to clarify the role of anti-HSP autoantibodies in RA.
KeywordsHeat shock proteins, HSP Rheumatoid arthritis, RA Autoantibodies
We are grateful to Prof. Ewa Bryl and Prof. Jacek M. Witkowski from the Medical University of Gdańsk for providing us sera samples from RA patients.
This study was supported by the Polish National Science Centre (NCN), grant no. 2017/25/B/NZ6/00305.
Compliance with ethical standards
The use of human biological material was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Medical University of Gdańsk, Poland, and written informed consent was obtained according to the Declaration of Helsinki.
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