Increased Serum B Cell Activating Factor and a Proliferation-inducing Ligand Are Associated with Interstitial Lung Disease in Patients with Juvenile Dermatomyositis.J Rheumatol 2015; 42(12):2412-8JR
Rapidly progressive interstitial lung disease (RP-ILD) is an intractable and fatal complication of juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM). This study evaluated serum levels of B cell activating factor (BAFF) and a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL) in JDM patients with complicating ILD, and their association with ILD phenotypes, clinical variables, and anti-melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 (MDA5).
We measured the levels of BAFF, APRIL, and anti-MDA5 in the sera of 23 JDM patients with ILD [8 in the RP-ILD group and 15 in the chronic ILD (C-ILD) group], 17 JDM patients without ILD (non-ILD group), and 10 age-matched controls, using the ELISA method. ILD was identified by high-resolution computed tomography.
Serum BAFF titers were significantly higher in the JDM patients with RP-ILD versus those with C-ILD (p = 0.011) and in healthy controls (p = 0.0004). The C-ILD group had significantly higher levels of BAFF versus controls (p ≤ 0.0001). Serum APRIL was markedly elevated in the RP-ILD group as compared with the C-ILD group (p = 0.003) and controls (p = 0.006). In patients with ILD, both BAFF and APRIL levels were correlated with serum Krebs von den Lungen-6 and interleukin 18. Subjects with high titer anti-MDA5 (> 200 U) had higher levels of BAFF and APRIL than those with low titer anti-MDA5 (< 100 U; p = 0.019 and p = 0.0029, respectively), which may have been due to a relationship between RP-ILD and high anti-MDA5 titer.
Our findings of markedly elevated levels of BAFF and APRIL in patients with RP-ILD JDM suggest the potential importance of these cytokines in the diagnosis and treatment of RP-ILD accompanying JDM.