The PDF file you selected should load here if your Web browser has a PDF reader plug-in installed (for example, a recent version of Adobe Acrobat Reader).

If you would like more information about how to print, save, and work with PDFs, Highwire Press provides a helpful Frequently Asked Questions about PDFs.

Alternatively, you can download the PDF file directly to your computer, from where it can be opened using a PDF reader. To download the PDF, click the Download link above.

Fullscreen Fullscreen Off

Objective: To clarify molecular mechanisms for the response to rituximab in a longitudinal study. Methods: Peripheral blood from 16 RA patients treated with rituximab for a single treatment course and 26 healthy controls, blood and knee articular cartilages from 18 patients with long-standing RA, and cartilages from 14 healthy subjects were examined. Clinical response was assessed using ESR, ACPA, CRP, RF, DAS28 levels, CD19+ B-cell counts, bone erosion, and joint space narrowing scores. Protein expression in PBMCs was quantified using ELISA. Gene expression was performed with quantitative real-time PCR. Results: A decrease (p < 0.05) in DAS28, ESR, and CRP values after rituximab treatment was associated with the downregulation of MTOR, p21, caspase 3, ULK1, TNFα, IL-1β, and cathepsin K gene expression in the peripheral blood to levels found in healthy subjects. MMP-9 expression remained significantly higher compared to controls although decreased (p < 0.05) versus baseline. A negative correlation between baseline ULK1 gene expression and the number of tender joints at the end of follow-up was observed. Conclusions: The response to rituximab was associated with decreased MTOR, p21, caspase 3, ULK1, TNFα, IL-1β, and cathepsin K gene expression compared to healthy subjects. Residual increased expression in MMP-9, IFNα, and COX2 might account for remaining inflammation and pain. High baseline ULK1 gene expression indicates a good response in respect to pain.
Font Size