Proceedings of the 2021 GRAPPA-Collaborative Research Network (CRN) Meeting
At the 2021 Group for Research and Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis (GRAPPA)- Collaborative Research Network (CRN) annual meeting, the GRAPPA-CRN group presented a number of project updates, including a pilot investigator-initiated study to evaluate liquid and tissue biomarkers associated with axial involvement in psoriatic arthritis (PsA). The GRAPPA-CRN session updated progress made with 3 parallel international research initiatives based on 3 previously defined unmet needs in PsA. The Health Initiatives in Psoriasis and PsOriatic arthritis ConsoRTium European States (HIPPOCRATES) is a European research consortium formed to address unmet clinical needs in PsA. The Preventing Arthritis in a Multi-Center Psoriasis At-Risk Population (PAMPA) is a US-based organization that has defined consensus terminology for preclinical phases of PsA and is interested in the transition process from psoriasis to PsA. An overview of the Accelerating Medicines Partnership Autoimmune and Immune-Mediated Diseases (AMP AIM) program 2.0, a consortium including GRAPPA-CRN members that addressed these 3 unmet needs in PsA, was also presented.
Low incidence and transient elevation of autoantibodies post mRNA COVID-19 vaccination in inflammatory arthritis
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:Autoantibody seroconversion has been extensively studied in the context of COVID-19 infection but data regarding post-vaccination autoantibody production is lacking. Here we aimed to determine the incidence of common autoantibody formation following mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in patients with inflammatory arthritis (IA) and in healthy controls. METHODS:Autoantibody seroconversion was measured by serum ELISA in a longitudinal cohort of IA participants and healthy controls before and after COVID-19 mRNA-based immunization. RESULTS:Overall, there was a significantly lower incidence of ANA seroconversion in participants who did not contract COVID-19 prior to vaccination compared with those who been previously infected (7.4% vs 24.1%, p= 0.014). Incidence of de novo anti-cyclic citrullinated protein (CCP) seroconversion in all participants was low at 4.9%. Autoantibody levels were typically of low titer, transient, and not associated with increase in IA flares. CONCLUSIONS:In both health and inflammatory arthritis, the risk of autoantibody seroconversion is lower following mRNA-based immunization than following natural SARS-CoV-2 infection. Importantly, seroconversion does not correlate with self-reported IA disease flare risk, further supporting the encouragement of mRNA-based COVID-19 immunization in the IA population.
Evaluation of Immune Response and Disease Status in SLE Patients Following SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination
OBJECTIVE:To evaluate seroreactivity and disease flares after COVID-19 vaccination in a multi-ethnic/racial cohort of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). METHODS:90 SLE patients and 20 healthy controls receiving a complete COVID-19 vaccine regimen were included. IgG seroreactivity to the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) and SARS-CoV-2 microneutralization were used to evaluate B cell responses; IFN-Î³ production to assess T cell responses was measured by ELISpot. Disease activity was measured by the hybrid SLE disease activity index (SLEDAI) and flares were assigned by the SELENA/SLEDAI flare index. RESULTS:Overall, fully vaccinated SLE patients produced significantly lower IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 spike RBD than controls. Twenty-six SLE patients (28.8%) generated an IgG response below that of the lowest control (<100 units/ml). In logistic regression analyses, the use of any immunosuppressant or prednisone and a normal anti-dsDNA level prior to vaccination associated with decreased vaccine responses. IgG seroreactivity to the SARS-CoV-2 Spike RBD strongly correlated with the SARS-CoV-2 microneutralization titers and antigen-specific IFN-Î³ production determined by ELISpot. In a subset of patients with poor antibody responses, IFN-Î³ production was likewise diminished. Pre-/post-vaccination SLEDAI scores were similar. Only 11.4% of patients had a post-vaccination flare; 1.3% were severe. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:In a multi-ethnic/racial study of SLE patients 29% had a low response to the COVID-19 vaccine which was associated with being on immunosuppression. Reassuringly, disease flares were rare. While minimal protective levels remain unknown, these data suggest protocol development is needed to assess efficacy of booster vaccination.
Does biologic therapy impact the development of PsA among patients with psoriasis?
OBJECTIVE:To examine the association of biologic therapy use for psoriasis with incident psoriatic arthritis (PsA) diagnosis. METHODS:A retrospective cohort study was conducted in the OptumInsights Electronic Health Record Database between 2006 and 2017 among patients with psoriasis between the ages of 16 and 90 initiating a therapy for psoriasis (oral, biologic or phototherapy). The incidence of PsA was calculated within each therapy group. Multivariable Cox models were used to calculate the HR for biologic versus oral or phototherapy using biologics as a time-varying exposure and next in a propensity score-matched cohort. RESULTS:Among 1â€‰93â€‰709 patients with psoriasis without PsA, 14â€‰569 biologic and 20â€‰321 cumulative oral therapy and phototherapy initiations were identified. Mean age was lower among biologic initiators compared with oral/phototherapy initiators (45.9 vs 49.8). The incidence of PsA regardless of therapy exposure was 9.75 per 1000 person-years compared with 77.26 among biologic users, 61.99 among oral therapy users, 26.11 among phototherapy users and 5.85 among those without a prescription for one of the target therapies. Using a multivariable adjustment approach with time-varying exposure, adjusted HR (95%â€‰CI) for biologic users was 4.48 (4.23 to 4.75) compared with oral or phototherapy users. After propensity score matching, the HR (95%â€‰CI) was 2.14 (2.00 to 2.28). CONCLUSIONS:In this retrospective cohort study, biologic use was associated with the development of PsA among patients with psoriasis. This may be related to confounding by indication and protopathic bias. Prospective studies are needed to address this important question.
Multimodal single-cell analysis of cutaneous T cell lymphoma reveals distinct sub-clonal tissue-dependent signatures
Cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL) is a heterogeneous group of mature T cell neoplasms characterized by the accumulation of clonal malignant CD4+ T cells in the skin. The most common variant of CTCL, Mycosis Fungoides, is confined to the skin in early stages but can be accompanied by extracutaneous dissemination of malignant T cells to the blood and lymph nodes in advanced stages of disease. SÃ©zary Syndrome, a leukemic form of disease is characterized by significant blood involvement. Little is known about the transcriptional and genomic relationship between skin and blood residing malignant T cells in CTCL. To identify and interrogate malignant clones in matched skin and blood from leukemic MF and SS patients, we combine T cell receptor clonotyping, with quantification of gene expression and cell surface markers at the single cell level. Our data reveals clonal evolution at a transcriptional and genetic level within the malignant populations of individual patients. We highlight highly consistent transcriptional signatures delineating skin-derived and blood-derived malignant T cells. Analysis of these two populations suggests that environmental cues, along with genetic aberrations, contribute to transcriptional profiles of malignant T cells. Our findings indicate that the skin microenvironment in CTCL promotes a transcriptional response supporting rapid malignant expansion, as opposed to the quiescent state observed in the blood, potentially influencing efficacy of therapies. These results provide insight into tissue-specific characteristics of cancerous cells and underscore the need to address the patients' individual malignant profiles at the time of therapy to eliminate all sub-clones.
Methotrexate hampers immunogenicity to BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in immune-mediated inflammatory disease
Editorial: Rheumatology at the center of coronavirus disease 2019: pathogenesis, treatment, and clinical care [Editorial]
Moving the Goalpost Towards Remission: The Case for Combination Immunomodulatory Therapies in Psoriatic Arthritis
Following the pivotal manuscript that outlined unique disease features half a century ago, investigators in the field of psoriatic arthritis (PsA) have extrapolated clinical trial data and molecular insights from the more expansive experience in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). As a result, many of the diagnostic approaches, imaging modalities, therapeutics and outcome measures paralleled (and at times became identical to) those developed for RA.
New Frontiers in Psoriatic Disease Research, Part I: Genetics, Environmental Triggers, Immunology, Pathophysiology, and Precision Medicine
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory condition characterized by systemic immune dysregulation. Over the past several years, advances in genetics, microbiology, immunology, and mouse models have revealed the complex interplay between the heritable and microenvironmental factors that drive the development of psoriatic inflammation. In the first of this two-part review series, the authors will discuss the newest insights into the pathogenesis of psoriatic disease and highlight how the evolution of these scientific fields has paved the way for a more personalized approach to psoriatic disease treatment.
A characterization of the gut and cutaneous microbiome of monozygotic twins discordant for psoriatic disease [Meeting Abstract]
Background/Purpose: Psoriasis (PsO) is an inflammatory, immune-mediated skin disorder affecting ~3% of the population worldwide. It is associated with multiple comorbidities, including psoriatic arthritis (PsA), which occurs in up to a third of patients. While genes contribute to the pathogenesis of psoriatic disease, twin studies demonstrate substantial discordance in PsO and PsA, suggesting that epigenetics and environmental factors play a significant role. In fact, there is increasing evidence that the microbiome has an impact on psoriatic disease pathogenesis. However, prior investigations were performed in populations of unrelated individuals and could not discern environmental from genetic influences. To characterize the host-microbiome relationship, we studied the gut and skin microbiome of monozygotic (MZ) twins discordant for psoriatic disease in order to determine disease-specific microbial perturbations that are independent of host-genes.
Method(s): Stool and skin swabs were collected from subjects with psoriatic disease and their unaffected MZ twin siblings (pairs=9, n=18). Non-lesional (NL) or healthy skin was swabbed at three separate sites: bicep, scalp, and elbow/forearm. Fecal samples underwent shotgun metagenomic sequencing to deeply characterize the gut microbiome taxonomy and functional pathways at high resolution. Sequences were processed with the HUMAnN and MetaPhlAn2 pipelines. Skin swab samples underwent 16S rRNA sequencing to characterize the cutaneous bacterial microbiome. Forward sequences were processed with the QIIME2 pipeline and SILVA reference database. Downstream computational analysis was performed using several libraries in R, including DESeq2.
Result(s): In gut samples, the relative abundance of Ruminococcus bromii species was significantly reduced and two pathways related to tetrahydrofolate biosynthesis were upregulated in psoriatic twins compared to their corresponding unaffected siblings (Fig 1; p< 0.05, Mann-Whitney). In NL skin samples from psoriatic twins, there was a significant reduction in alpha diversity and beta diversity differences in microbial communities of the scalp, but not the bicep or elbow/forearm, compared to healthy samples from unaffected twins (Fig 2A-B; p< 0.05, Mann-Whitney and Permanova). Differential analysis of taxa in the scalp identified a higher abundance of the Bacillales order and related taxa, as well as a lower abundance of the Deinococcus genus and related taxa in psoriatic twins compared to their unaffected siblings (Fig 2C; p< 0.05 with FDR correction).
Conclusion(s): This is the first study exploring microbial differences in MZ twins discordant for psoriatic disease. In agreement with our previous results, we found that Ruminococcus is reduced or virtually absent in the gut of psoriatic patients, and may therefore be associated with psoriatic disease. Additionally, we discovered that even healthyappearing NL skin of psoriatic subjects, particularly in the scalp, exhibited microbial perturbations and decreased diversity compared to unaffected twins. A further understanding of these changes and their downstream effects should shed light into the pathogenesis of psoriatic disease beyond genetic susceptibility