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Endothelial and Inflammation Biomarker Profiles at Diagnosis Reflecting Clinical Heterogeneity and Serving as a Prognostic Tool for Treatment Response in Two Independent Cohorts of Patients With Juvenile Dermatomyositis
SourceArthritis & Rheumatology, 72, 7, (2020), pp. 1214-1226
Article / Letter to editor
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Arthritis & Rheumatology
SubjectRadboudumc 5: Inflammatory diseases RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
OBJECTIVE: Juvenile dermatomyositis (DM) is a heterogeneous systemic immune-mediated vasculopathy. This study was undertaken to 1) identify inflammation/endothelial dysfunction-related biomarker profiles reflecting disease severity at diagnosis, and 2) establish whether such biomarker profiles could be used for predicting the response to treatment in patients with juvenile DM. METHODS: In total, 39 biomarkers related to activation of endothelial cells, endothelial dysfunction, and inflammation were measured using multiplex technology in serum samples from treatment-naive patients with juvenile DM from 2 independent cohorts (n = 30 and n = 29). Data were analyzed by unsupervised hierarchical clustering, nonparametric tests with correction for multiple comparisons, and Kaplan-Meier tests with Cox proportional hazards models for analysis of treatment duration. Myositis-specific antibodies (MSAs) were measured in the patients' serum using line blot assays. RESULTS: Severe vasculopathy in patients with juvenile DM was associated with low serum levels of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (Spearman's rho [rs ] = 0.465, P = 0.0111) and high serum levels of endoglin (rs = -0.67, P < 0.0001). In the discovery cohort, unsupervised hierarchical clustering analysis of the biomarker profiles yielded 2 distinct patient clusters, of which the smaller cluster (cluster 1; n = 8) exhibited high serum levels of CXCL13, CCL19, galectin-9, CXCL10, tumor necrosis factor receptor type II (TNFRII), and galectin-1 (false discovery rate <0.0001), and this cluster had greater severity of muscle disease and global disease activity (each P < 0.05 versus cluster 2). In the validation cohort, correlations between the serum levels of galectin-9, CXCL10, TNFRII, and galectin-1 and the severity of global disease activity were confirmed (rs = 0.40-0.52, P < 0.05). Stratification of patients according to the 4 confirmed biomarkers identified a cluster of patients with severe symptoms (comprising 64.7% of patients) who were considered at high risk of requiring more intensive treatment in the first 3 months after diagnosis (P = 0.0437 versus other cluster). Moreover, high serum levels of galectin-9, CXCL10, and TNFRII were predictive of a longer total treatment duration (P < 0.05). The biomarker-based clusters were not evidently correlated with patients' MSA serotypes. CONCLUSION: Results of this study confirm the heterogeneity of new-onset juvenile DM based on serum biomarker profiles. Patients with high serum levels of galectin-9, CXCL10, TNFRII, and galectin-1 may respond suboptimally to conventional treatment, and may therefore benefit from more intensive monitoring and/or treatment.
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