Publications by authors named "Elisabet Berthold"

5 Publications

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Synovial fluid neutrophils in oligoarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis have an altered phenotype and impaired effector functions.

Arthritis Res Ther 2021 Apr 9;23(1):109. Epub 2021 Apr 9.

Wallenberg Center for Molecular Medicine, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.

Background: Neutrophils are the most prevalent immune cells in the synovial fluid in inflamed joints of children with oligoarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Despite this, little is known about neutrophil function at the site of inflammation in JIA and how local neutrophils contribute to disease pathogenesis. This study aimed to characterize the phenotype and function of synovial fluid neutrophils in oligoarticular JIA.

Methods: Neutrophils obtained from paired blood and synovial fluid from patients with active oligoarticular JIA were investigated phenotypically (n = 17) and functionally (phagocytosis and oxidative burst, n = 13) by flow cytometry. In a subset of patients (n = 6), blood samples were also obtained during inactive disease at a follow-up visit. The presence of CD206-expressing neutrophils was investigated in synovial biopsies from four patients by immunofluorescence.

Results: Neutrophils in synovial fluid had an activated phenotype, characterized by increased CD66b and CD11b levels, and most neutrophils had a CD16 CD62Laged phenotype. A large proportion of the synovial fluid neutrophils expressed CD206, a mannose receptor not commonly expressed by neutrophils but by monocytes, macrophages, and dendritic cells. CD206-expressing neutrophils were also found in synovial tissue biopsies. The synovial fluid neutrophil phenotype was not dependent on transmigration alone. Functionally, synovial fluid neutrophils had reduced phagocytic capacity and a trend towards impaired oxidative burst compared to blood neutrophils. In addition, the effector functions of the synovial fluid neutrophils correlated negatively with the proportion of CD206 neutrophils.

Conclusions: Neutrophils in the inflamed joint in oligoarticular JIA were altered, both regarding phenotype and function. Neutrophils in the synovial fluid were activated, had an aged phenotype, had gained monocyte-like features, and had impaired phagocytic capacity. The impairment in phagocytosis and oxidative burst was associated with the phenotype shift. We speculate that these neutrophil alterations might play a role in the sustained joint inflammation seen in JIA.
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April 2021

Children with oligoarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis have skewed synovial monocyte polarization pattern with functional impairment-a distinct inflammatory pattern for oligoarticular juvenile arthritis.

Arthritis Res Ther 2020 08 12;22(1):186. Epub 2020 Aug 12.

Department of Pediatrics, Clinical Sciences Lund, Lund University, BMC B13, Klinikgatan 26, 22185, Lund, Sweden.

Background: Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is an umbrella term of inflammatory joint diseases in children. Oligoarthritis is the most common form in the Western world, representing roughly 60% of all patients. Monocytes and macrophages play an important role in adult arthritides, but their role in oligoarticular JIA is less studied. Polarization highly influences monocytes' and macrophages' effector functions, broadly separated into pro-inflammatory M1 or anti-inflammatory M2 phenotypes. Here, we set out to investigate the polarization pattern and functional aspects of synovial monocytes in oligoarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).

Methods: Paired synovial fluid, blood samples (n = 13), and synovial biopsies (n = 3) were collected from patients with untreated oligoarticular JIA. Monocytes were analyzed for polarization markers by flow cytometry and qPCR. Effector function was analyzed by a phagocytosis assay. Polarization of healthy monocytes was investigated by stimulation with synovial fluid in vitro. Monocyte/macrophage distribution, polarization, and mRNA expression were investigated in biopsies by immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, and in situ hybridization.

Results: Children with oligoarticular JIA have polarized synovial fluid monocytes of a specific M1(IFNγ)/M2(IL-4)-like pattern. This was evidenced by increased surface expression of CD40 (p < 0.001), CD86 (p < 0.001), and CD206 (p < 0.001), but not CD163, as compared to paired circulating monocytes. Additionally, polarization was extensively explored at the mRNA level and synovial fluid monocytes differentially expressed classical markers of M1(IFNγ)/M2(IL-4) polarization compared to circulating monocytes. Synovial fluid monocytes were functionally affected, as assessed by reduced capacity to phagocytose (p < 0.01). Synovial fluid induced M2 markers (CD16 and CD206), but not M1 (CD40) or CD86 in healthy monocytes and did not induce cytokine production. Single and co-expression of surface CD40 and CD206, as well as mRNA expression of IL-10 and TNF, was observed in monocytes/macrophages in synovial biopsies.

Conclusion: Children with untreated oligoarticular JIA have similar and distinct synovial fluid monocyte polarization pattern of mixed pro- and anti-inflammatory features. This pattern was not exclusively a result of the synovial fluid milieu as monocytes/macrophages in the synovial membrane show similar patterns. Our study highlights a distinct polarization pattern in oligoarticular JIA, which could be utilized for future treatment strategies.
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August 2020

Outcome in juvenile idiopathic arthritis: a population-based study from Sweden.

Arthritis Res Ther 2019 10 28;21(1):218. Epub 2019 Oct 28.

Department of Pediatrics, Clinical Sciences Lund, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.

Background: As the treatment arsenal for children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) has expanded during the last decades, follow-up studies are needed on children diagnosed in the era of biological treatment to evaluate if this has improved the outcome. Our aim was to study the epidemiology and outcome of JIA in southern Sweden using a population-based cohort of children with a validated diagnosis of JIA collected over 9 years.

Methods: Potential cases of JIA between 2002 and 2010 were collected after a database search, using the ICD codes M08-M09. The study area was Skåne, the southernmost county of Sweden (population 1.24 million; 17.6% aged < 16 years). The JIA diagnosis was validated and subcategorized through medical record review based on the criteria defined by the International League of Associations for Rheumatism (ILAR). Parameters on disease activity and pharmacologic treatment were recorded annually until the end of the study period (December 31, 2015).

Results: In total, 251 cases of JIA were confirmed. The mean annual incidence rate for JIA was estimated to be 12.8/100,000 children < 16 years, with the highest age-specific annual incidence at the age of 2 years (36/100,000). Oligoarthritis was the largest subgroup (44.7%), and systemic JIA was the smallest subgroup (2.8%). Methotrexate was the most common disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug prescribed (60.6%). Tumor necrosis factor alpha inhibitors were used as treatment for 23.9% of the children. Only 40.0% of the follow-up years, with a median follow-up time of 8 years, were free of arthritis or uveitis. Uveitis occurred in 10.8% of the children (8.0% chronic uveitis), and the need for joint corrective orthopedic surgery was 9.2%.

Conclusions: The incidence of JIA in this well-defined, population-based cohort is slightly lower than in previously published studies from Scandinavia. The need for orthopedic surgery and the presence of uveitis are diminished compared to studies with patients diagnosed more than 20 years ago. Children with JIA however still experience disease activity more than 50% of the time. In conclusion, we still have long-term challenges in the care for children with JIA, in spite of state-of-the-art treatment.
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October 2019

Circulating complexes between tumour necrosis factor-alpha and etanercept predict long-term efficacy of etanercept in juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

Acta Paediatr 2016 Apr 1;105(4):427-32. Epub 2016 Feb 1.

Department of Rheumatology, Clinical Sciences Lund, Lund University and Skåne University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.

Aim: The relationship between tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and drug survival had not been studied in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), and there were no laboratory tests to predict the long-term efficacy of biological drugs for JIA. We studied whether serum levels of TNF-α, free or bound to etanercept, could predict long-term efficacy of etanercept in children with JIA.

Methods: We included 41 biologic-naïve patients with JIA who started treatment with etanercept at Skåne University Hospital between 1999 and 2010. Serum taken at the start of treatment and at the six-week follow-up were analysed for TNF-α and the long-term efficacy of etanercept was assessed using the drug survival time.

Results: Levels of TNF-α increased significantly at the six-week follow-up, and this was almost exclusively comprised of TNF-α in complex with etanercept. The increase in TNF-α showed a dose-dependent correlation to long-term drug survival (p < 0.01).

Conclusion: Increasing levels of circulating TNF-α at treatment initiation predicted long-term efficacy of etanercept in children with JIA, which may have been due to different pathophysiological mechanisms of inflammation. Our result may provide a helpful clinical tool, as high levels of circulating TNF-α/etanercept complexes could be used as a marker for the long-term efficacy of etanercept.
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April 2016

Continuation of TNF blockade in patients with inflammatory rheumatic disease. An observational study on surgical site infections in 1,596 elective orthopedic and hand surgery procedures.

Acta Orthop 2013 Oct 16;84(5):495-501. Epub 2013 Sep 16.

Section of Rheumatology, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund , Lund University and Department of Rheumatology, Skåne University Hospital, Lund , Sweden .

Background: Increased infection risk in inflammatory rheumatic diseases may be due to inflammation or immunosuppressive treatment. The influence of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors on the risk of developing surgical site infections (SSIs) is not fully known. We compared the incidence of SSI after elective orthopedic surgery or hand surgery in patients with a rheumatic disease when TNF inhibitors were continued or discontinued perioperatively.

Patients And Methods: We included 1,551 patients admitted for elective orthopedic surgery or hand surgery between January 1, 2003 and September 30, 2009. Patient demographic data, previous and current treatment, and factors related to disease severity were collected. Surgical procedures were grouped as hand surgery, foot surgery, implant-related surgery, and other surgery. Infections were recorded and defined according to the 1992 Centers for Disease Control definitions for SSI. In 2003-2005, TNF inhibitors were discontinued perioperatively (group A) but not during 2006-2009 (group B).

Results: In group A, there were 28 cases of infection in 870 procedures (3.2%) and in group B, there were 35 infections in 681 procedures (5.1%) (p = < 0.05). Only foot surgery had significantly more SSIs in group B, with very low rates in group A. In multivariable analysis with groups A and B merged, only age was predictive of SSI in a statistically significant manner.

Interpretation: Overall, the SSI rates were higher after abolishing the discontinuation of anti-TNF perioperatively, possibly due to unusually low rates in the comparator group. None of the medical treatments analyzed, e.g. methotrexate or TNF inhibitors, were significant risk factors for SSI. Continuation of TNF blockade perioperatively remains a routine at our center.
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October 2013