MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Lisa van Baarsen PhD
Principal Investigator at the Amsterdam Rheumatology and Immunology Cente
Academic Medical Center
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: The discovery that autoantibodies can be present years before the onset of clinical symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) enables us to study autoantibody positive individuals who are at risk of developing RA. In patients with established disease the target tissue of RA, the synovial joints, is characterized by cellular infiltration and inflammation. Moreover, successful therapy decreases this synovial inflammation. In the past, our department already showed (PMID: 21177292; PMID: 24574210) that in autoantibody positive at risk individuals there is no overt cellular infiltration present in the synovium.
In the current study we performed a so called discovery-based approach to investigate at a genome-wide gene expression level (using microarrays) whether the synovium is altered at a molecular level before onset of rheumatoid arthritis.
Our molecular and microscopic studies on synovial biopsies obtained from autoantibody positive individuals indeed revealed interesting differences between those at risk individuals who developed disease after follow up and those who did not. Continue reading