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  1. Mensa-Vilaro A, Tarng Cham W, Ping Tang S, Chin Lim S, González-Roca E, Ruiz-Ortiz E, et al.
    PMID: 26606664 DOI: 10.1002/art.39519
    Blau syndrome is characterized by noncaseating granulomatous arthritis, dermatitis, and uveitis, and results from gain-of-function NOD2 mutations. This study was undertaken to identify the genetic cause of the disease in a family with 3 members with Blau syndrome.
  2. Too CL, Murad S, Hansson M, Alm LM, Dhaliwal JS, Holmdahl R, et al.
    PMID: 27483449 DOI: 10.1002/art.39827
    OBJECTIVE: Antibodies to the citrullinated protein antigens (ACPAs) are important in the diagnosis and pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, the prevalence of ACPAs with different fine specificities in different populations is unclear. This study sought to examine the fine specificity of the antibody responses toward citrullinated proteins in RA patients from Malaysia, an area where genetic and environmental determinants of RA are different from those in more frequently studied cohorts of Caucasian subjects.

    METHODS: A multiplex analytic microarray system was used to analyze the occurrence of antibodies to 10 different citrullinated peptides (filaggrin [fil307-324], vimentin [Vim2-17, Vim60-75], fibrinogen [Fibα563-583, Fibα580-600, Fibβ36-52, Fibβ62-81a, Fibβ62-81b], enolase [Eno5-21], and type II collagen [CitCII355-378]) in serum samples from 4,089 RA patients (1,231 Malaysian and 2,858 Swedish) and 827 healthy control subjects (249 Malaysian and 578 Swedish). The positive reaction threshold for each peptide was set separately for each population based on a specificity of 98%.

    RESULTS: Distinct differences in the frequencies of 5 ACPA fine specificities (Vim60-75, Vim2-17, Fibβ62-81b, Eno5-21, and CitCII355-378) were found between the Malaysian and Swedish RA populations, despite a nearly identical percentage of patients in each population who were positive for anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide 2 antibodies. In Malaysian RA patients compared with Swedish RA patients, the frequencies of antibodies to Vim60-75 (54% versus 44%, corrected P [Pcorr ] = 1.06 × 10-8 ) and CitCII355-378 (17% versus 13%, Pcorr  = 0.02) were significantly higher, while the frequencies of antibodies to Vim2-17 (25% versus 32%, Pcorr  = 1.91 × 10-4 ), Fibβ62-81b (15% versus 30%, Pcorr  = 2.47 × 10-22 ), and Eno5-21 (23% versus 50%, Pcorr  = 3.64 × 10-57 ) were significantly lower.

    CONCLUSION: Serum ACPA fine specificities differ between RA patients in different populations, although the total proportions of individuals positive for ACPAs are similar. Differing patterns of ACPA fine specificity could be attributed to variations in genetic and/or environmental factors.

  3. Cheng LE, Amoura Z, Cheah B, Hiepe F, Sullivan BA, Zhou L, et al.
    PMID: 29513931 DOI: 10.1002/art.40479
    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the safety and potential efficacy of AMG 557, a fully human antibody directed against the inducible T cell costimulator ligand (ICOSL) in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) with arthritis.

    METHODS: In this phase Ib, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, patients received AMG 557 210 mg (n = 10) or placebo (n = 10) weekly for 3 weeks, then every other week for 10 additional doses. The corticosteroid dosage was tapered to ≤7.5 mg/day by day 85, and immunosuppressants were discontinued by day 29. Primary end points on day 169 were safety, immunogenicity, the Lupus Arthritis Response Index (LARI; defined by a reduction in the tender and swollen joint counts), ≥1-letter improvement in the musculoskeletal domain of the British Isles Lupus Assessment Group (BILAG) index, and medication discontinuation. The secondary/exploratory end points were changes in the tender and swollen joint counts, BILAG index scores (musculoskeletal, global), and the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI).

    RESULTS: The incidence of adverse events, most of which were mild, was similar between groups. LARI responses occurred in 3 of 10 patients receiving AMG 557 and 1 of 10 patients receiving placebo (P = 0.58). More patients in the AMG 557 group achieved a ≥4-point improvement in the SLEDAI score on day 169 (7 of 10 patients) compared with the placebo group (2 of 10 patients) (P = 0.07). Patients treated with AMG 557 (versus placebo) had greater improvements from baseline in the global BILAG index scores (-36.3% versus -24.7%) and the SLEDAI score (-47.8% versus -10.7%) and in tender (-22.8% versus -13.5%) and swollen (-62.1% versus -7.8%) joint counts on day 169.

    CONCLUSION: AMG 557 showed safety and potential efficacy, supporting further evaluation of the clinical efficacy of ICOSL blockade in patients with SLE.
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