OBJECTIVE--To identify antigen(s) among purified deglycosylated aggrecan peptides spanning the chondroitin sulphate domain that may be responsible for the initiation or perpetuation of the autoimmune responses in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS--Aggrecan was purified from human articular cartilage and deglycosylated with either bacterial glycosidases or trifluoromethanesulphonic acid (TFMS). Twelve overlapping peptides (15 residues) spanning the chondroitin sulphate domain with N-terminal residues offset by three amino acids were synthesised. T cell responses to these antigens in RA patients and age matched controls were assessed in vitro by antigen specific T cell proliferation assays. RESULTS--Enzymically deglycosylated aggrecan (EDA) stimulated proliferation of T cells isolated from the peripheral blood in a greater proportion of patients with RA than controls. In a subset (12.5%) of RA patients, the magnitude of stimulation lay outside the control range. T cell proliferative responses to TFMS treated aggrecan were greater than, but well correlated with, responses to EDA. T cells from 15 patients were also stimulated with the pooled synthetic peptides. Four of seven patients who demonstrated T cell reactivity to EDA (seven of 15) also showed enhanced T cell proliferation to synthetic peptides. CONCLUSION--These data suggest that an autoantigenic T cell epitope may lie within the chondroitin sulphate domain of aggrecan.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.