Background Autoantibodies to the 44 kDa cytosolic 5-nucleotidase 1A (NT5c1A/Mup44) are a biomarker for differentiating sporadic inclusion body myositis (sIBM) from other autoimmune myopathies. These antibodies have also been detected in 10%–20% of SLE patients but the clinical significance has not been reported. This study determined the frequency of anti-NT5c1A autoantibodies in a SLE cohort and then identify demographic, clinical, and serologic correlations.
Methods Patients fulfilling the ACR or SLICC Classification Criteria for SLE were enrolled in a local cohort. Demographic, clinical information (disease activity SLEDAI-2K; damage SLICC/ACR Damage Index (SDI)), and sera were collected at time of enrollment. Antibodies to anti-NT5c1A were determined by an addressable laser bead immunoassay using a full-length human recombinant protein (Origene, Rockville, MD: Cat. #TP324617). The cutoff, established at 400 median fluorescence units (MFU), was two standard deviations above the mean of apparently healthy control sera. Univariable and multivariable analysis were performed to determine associations between the prevalence of high positive anti-NT5c1A and demographic (age, sex, race/ethnicity), clinical features (SLICC/ACR classification criteria, SLEDAI-2K and SDI total scores and subscales including myositis from SLEDAI-2K), medications, and other autoantibodies (anti-dsDNA, extractable nuclear antigens, and anti-phospholipid antibodies).
Results 138 SLE patients were included; 89.1% were female with a mean age of 46.1 years (SD 18.1) and disease duration of 13.7 years (SD 11.6). The prevalence of positive anti-NT5c1A was 15.2% (21/138). Univariable analysis demonstrated that patients who had a positive anti-dsDNA (Odds Ratio (OR) 6.59 [95%CI: 2.21, 19.65]) or anti-nucleosome (OR 8.96 [95%CI: 2.43, 32.99]) were more likely to be positive for anti-NT5c1A. Patients with longer disease duration (OR 0.93 [95%:CI 0.88, 0.98]), proteinuria (24 hour urine protein greater than 500 mg on the SLICC criteria) (OR 0.20 [95%CI: 0.04, 0.88]), acute cutaneous SLE (OR 0.38 [95%CI: 0.15, 0.97] on the SLICC criteria), in particular malar rash (OR 0.25 [95%CI: 0.07, 0.89]) or photosensitivity (OR 0.27 [95%CI: 0.08, 0.84]) were less likely to be anti-NT5c1A positive. Multivariable analysis demonstrated that patients with proteinuria (OR 0.16 [95%CI: 0.03, 0.87]) were less likely to be anti-NT5c1A positive.
Conclusions Anti-NT5c1A antibodies, a novel biomarker for sIBM, were found in 15.2% of SLE patients in keeping with previous reports. The patients were less likely to have a history of proteinuria and there was no association with myositis (on SLEDAI-2K). Further studies are needed to confirm these findings in larger SLE cohorts.
Funding Source(s): The Arthritis Society Chair in Rheumatic Diseases at the Cumming School of Medicine, Calgary
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