Elevated serum B-cell activating factor levels in patients with dermatomyositis: Association with interstitial lung disease.J Dermatol 2019JD
Patients with dermatomyositis (DM) frequently have myositis-specific autoantibodies (MSA), which are closely associated with different clinical features. Patients with anti-aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase antibody (ARS-Ab) and anti-melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 (MDA5)-Ab often have interstitial lung disease (ILD). Recently, anti-MDA5-Ab levels have been shown to correlate with disease activity in DM patients. Thus, B cells that are stimulated by excess B-cell activating factor (BAFF) play an important role in the pathogenesis of DM through auto-Ab production. In this study, we investigated the role of BAFF in DM patients. We measured the serum BAFF levels in 56 adult DM patients (14 with anti-ARS-Ab, 18 with anti-MDA5-Ab, seven with anti-Mi-2-Ab and 17 with anti-transcriptional intermediary factor-1γ-Ab) . For a longitudinal study, 130 serum specimens from 10 DM patients with anti-MDA5-Ab were analyzed. Serum BAFF levels were significantly higher in DM patients than in healthy controls. DM patients with elevated serum BAFF levels more frequently had ILD. In subgroup analysis, DM patients with anti-ARS-Ab and DM patients with anti-MDA5-Ab exhibited increased BAFF levels compared with controls, while DM patients with other MSA showed BAFF levels comparable with controls. In the longitudinal study, serum BAFF levels in DM patients with anti-MDA5-Ab were decreased after immunosuppressive therapy along with serum levels of anti-MDA5-Ab and ferritin, which are biomarkers of disease activity. These results suggest that BAFF plays an important role in the pathogenesis of ILD in DM patients with anti-ARS and anti-MDA5-Ab. Furthermore, serum BAFF level is associated with disease activity in DM patients with anti-MDA5-Ab.