Ann Rheum Dis 60:1137-1140 doi:10.1136/ard.60.12.1137
  • Concise report

Difference in B cell activation between dermatomyositis and polymyositis: analysis of the expression of RP105 on peripheral blood B cells


BACKGROUND It has previously been shown that RP105, a new B cell surface protein, is lost in activated human B cells.

OBJECTIVE To investigate whether there is a difference in B cell activation between patients with dermatomyositis (DM) and those with polymyositis (PM) using RP105 as a marker.

METHODS The population of RP105 negative B cells (activated B cells) in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of seven patients with dermatomyositis (DM) and 11 with polymyositis (PM) was analysed by flow cytometry.

RESULTS The percentage of RP105 negative B cells in the peripheral blood of patients with PM was low (5.8 (SD 2.4)%), similar to that of normal subjects. In contrast, all patients with DM showed increased RP105 negative B cell populations (33.0 (6.9)%). Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from a patient with DM and active interstitial pneumonitis contained a large number of RP105 negative B cells.

CONCLUSION These findings suggest that the expansion of RP105 negative B cells is a hallmark of DM, and that B cell activation in DM may be pathogenetically different from that in PM.