Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Tenascin-C, an extracellular matrix protein that has proinflammatory properties, is a recently described antibody target in rheumatoid arthritis. In this study, we utilized a systematic discovery process and identified five novel citrullinated tenascin-C (cit-TNC) T cell epitopes. CD4+ T cells specific for these epitopes were elevated in the peripheral blood of subjects with rheumatoid arthritis and showed signs of activation. Cit-TNC-specific T cells were also present among synovial fluid T cells and secreted interferon-γ. Two of these cit-TNC peptides were recognized by antibodies within the serum and synovial fluid of individuals with RA. Detectable serum levels of cit-TNC reactive antibodies were prevalent among subjects with RA and positively associated with cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP) reactivity and the HLA shared epitope. Furthermore, cit-TNC reactive antibodies were correlated with rheumatoid factor and elevated in subjects with a history of smoking. Taken together this work confirms cit-TNC as an autoantigen that is targeted by autoreactive CD4+ T cells and autoantibodies in patients with RA. Furthermore, our findings suggest that a unique set of epitopes recognized by both CD4+ T cells and B cells have the potential to amplify autoimmunity and promote the development and progression of rheumatoid arthritis.

Original publication

DOI

10.1172/jci.insight.145217

Type

Journal article

Journal

Jci insight

Publication Date

28/01/2021

Keywords

Autoimmunity, B cells, Immunology, Rheumatology, T cells