Session Type: Poster Session (Tuesday)
Session Time: 9:00AM-11:00AM
Background/Purpose: Human endogenous retroviruses (HERV) are the stably inherited remnants of ancient retroviruses that infected the ancestral germline. A growing body of research has associated the differential expression and regulation of HERVs with a number of diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). HERVs are thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases by modulating the expression of host immune-related genes, molecular mimicry, or cross reactivity of host proteins with HERV encoded products. We aimed to compare the expression of 4 HERVs previously associated with autoimmune disorders (HERV-K, HERV-K10, HERV-W, and HERV-H) in whole blood, CD3+ T cells, and CD14+ monocytes of patients with cutaneous psoriasis without arthritis (PsC), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), and healthy controls.
Methods: PsC, PsA patients satisfying the CASPAR criteria, and healthy controls were recruited for the study. RNA was extracted from whole blood collected in Tempus tubes and HERV expression was measured by quantitative real time PCR (qRT-PCR) or droplet digital (dd)PCR with normalization to GAPDH. HERV expression in whole blood RNA from 40 PsA patients was compared to 40 age and sex matched PsC patients and 40 age and sex matched healthy controls. Subsequently, HERV expression in 55 PsC patients who progressed to develop PsA (converters) was compared to 55 age and sex matched PsC patients who did not develop PsA over the same duration of follow-up (non-converters). Finally, HERV expression in RNA isolated from CD3+ T cells and CD14+ monocytes from 19 PsA patients was compared to 13 PsC and 8 healthy controls. Expression differences between groups were determined by one-way ANOVA, Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney tests where appropriate.
Results: In whole blood, HERV-K was significantly differentially expressed between 40 PsA and 40 PsC patients (fold change [FC]=1.57, p=0.008). HERV-K was also significantly differentially expressed in baseline samples from 55 converters compared to 55 non-converters (FC=1.93, p=0.03). No other HERV genes were differentially expressed between these groups in whole blood. Significant expression differences were more evident in purified cells (Table 1).
Conclusion: In whole blood, expression of HERV-K differentiates PsA and PsC patients, and its expression is significantly elevated in PsC patients prior to the development of PsA. HERV expression differences between the groups are also evident in purified T cells and monocytes. These data suggest a role for HERVs in the pathogenesis of psoriatic disease and their potential use as prognostic markers of arthritis in patients with psoriasis.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Pollock R, Machhar R, Zaman L, Gladman D, Chandran V. Differential Expression of Human Endogenous Retroviruses in Psoriatic Disease [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2019; 71 (suppl 10). https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/differential-expression-of-human-endogenous-retroviruses-in-psoriatic-disease/. Accessed June 2, 2020.
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ACR Meeting Abstracts - https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/differential-expression-of-human-endogenous-retroviruses-in-psoriatic-disease/