Gene Fingerprint Found for Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

Neutrophil gene expression pattern unchanged during therapy

THURSDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified the gene expression fingerprint in neutrophils of children with polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis that implicates these cells in the pathogenesis of the disease, according to a report in the Sept. 26 issue of Arthritis Research & Therapy.

James N. Jarvis, M.D., from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine in Oklahoma City, and colleagues used gene expression arrays to examine the expression profile of neutrophils in 25 children with polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) compared with healthy controls.

Computer analysis helped the investigators identify a set of 712 genes that were differentially expressed between patients and controls, many of which were linked to IL-8 and IFNγ, key regulators of neutrophil metabolites. The authors also note that the JRA expression pattern did not change after children responded positively to therapy, suggesting the neutrophils remain activated even during disease quiescence.

"Our data are consistent with the hypothesis that neutrophils play an essential role in the pathogenesis of polyarticular JRA," the authors write. "We have demonstrated through multiple lines of evidence that polyarticular JRA is associated with chronic, dysregulated neutrophil activation."

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