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Negative association between autoantibodies against IL-17, IL-17/anti-IL-17 antibody immune complexes and destruction in rheumatoid arthritis
  1. Ndieme Ndongo-Thiam1,
  2. Alice Clement1,
  3. Jean-Jacques Pin2,
  4. Diane Razanajaona-Doll2,
  5. Pierre Miossec1
  1. 1Immunogenomics and Inflammation Research Unit EA 4130 and the Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, University of Lyon, Lyon, France
  2. 2Dendritics, Bioparc Laennec, Lyon, France
  1. Correspondence to Professor P Miossec, Clinical Immunology Unit, Departments of Immunology and Rheumatology, Hôpital Edouard Herriot, Lyon Cedex 03 69437, France; miossec{at}univ-lyon1.fr

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Autoantibodies against proinflammatory cytokines1 such as interleukin (IL)-1α are protective and a marker of good prognosis in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).2 ,3 They bind their antigen, that is, the cytokine, forming immune complexes (ICs). IL-17 is a new therapeutic target for a growing number of disorders,4 and levels of circulating bioactive IL-17 are associated with RA severity.5 Our objective was to define the contribution of anti-IL-17 autoantibodies and IL-17-anti-IL-17 ICs.

A competitive ELISA was developed to measure anti-IL-17 autoantibodies. A positive control with added anti-IL-17 antibodies showed an inverse dose–response curve reflecting the competition, with no variation with irrelevant antibodies (figure 1A). Plasma of 30 healthy donors were first tested to determine the threshold (absorbance=0.9±0.1 at 1/2 dilution) with no variation between 1/4 and 1/8 dilutions, indicating an absence of anti-IL-17 autoantibodies. In contrast, they were detected in 36.6% of the 60 patients with RA (p<0.05 vs controls, figure 1B). To study the relationship with severity, 30 destructive RA (wrist Larsen score: 2 and over) versus 30 non-destructive RA (Larsen score: 0 or 1) were tested. The two groups had similar mean age (71.3±9.3 vs 66.1±10.8 years), disease duration (23.0±9.8 vs 18.6±9.6 years), DAS28 (4.0±1.4 vs 3.9±1.2) but a different level of bone destruction (Larsen score: 0.5±0.5 vs 3.3±1.0, p<0.0001). Anti-IL-17 autoantibodies were detected in 46.6% of …

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