Levels of mtNFPs (total fMet, MT-ND6) were analyzed using ELISA in plasma and serum obtained from patients in 3 cross-sectional RA cohorts (n = 275), a longitudinal inception cohort (n = 192) followed for a median of 8 years, and age/gender-matched healthy controls (total n = 134). Neutrophil activation assays were done in the absence or presence of formyl peptide receptor 1 (FPR1) inhibitor cyclosporine H.
Elevated levels of total fMet were observed in the circulation of patients with RA as compared to healthy controls (p < 0.0001) associating with disease activity and could distinguish patients with the active disease from patients with inactive disease or patients in remission. Baseline levels of total fMet correlated with current and future joint involvement, respectively and predicted the development of rheumatoid nodules (OR = 1.2, p = 0.04). Further, total fMet levels improved the prognostic ability of ACPA in predicting erosive disease (OR of 7.9, p = 0.001). Total fMet levels correlated with markers of inflammation and neutrophil activation. Circulating mtNFPs induced neutrophil activation in vitro through FPR1-dependent mechanisms.
Circulating mtNFPs could be novel biomarkers of disease monitoring and prognosis for RA and in investigating neutrophil-mediated inflammation in RA. We propose, FPR1 as a novel therapeutic target for RA.
Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.