Session Type: ACR Poster Session C
Session Time: 9:00AM-11:00AM
Several genetic regions associated with susceptibility to juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), harbour genes involved in the interleukin-2 (IL-2) response which is pivotal in the function of regulatory T cells (T-regs) and their ability to supress potentially autoimmune effector T cells. Genetically JIA is similar to type 1 diabetes (T1D) which also demonstrates an enrichment of genes
related to IL-2 regulation and response. Early clinical trial data has indicated recombinant IL-2 to be successful in enhancing T-regs in T1D. I hypothesise that IL-2 regulation and response is critical to the development of JIA and therefore IL-2 therapy represents an exciting and viable therapeutic option for JIA.
We aim to identify a subset of JIA patients who carry a high burden of genetic risk variants in genes related to IL-2 regulation and response, who could then be targeted for IL-2 therapy. Secondly we will link genetics to cellular phenotypes using CyTOF to identify a subset of cells that are most perturbed in JIA and determine the effects of IL-2 on these cellular subsets.
A weighted genetic risk score (wGRS) was generated using 9 JIA susceptibility SNPs considered to be within or near to genes involved in interleukin (IL-2) regulation and response (1). The IL-2 wGRS was tested in an independent set of UK cases (1435) and controls (5181). The risk of developing JIA was assessed by subtype, using logistic regression. A CyTOF panel containing 33 antibodies targeting markers of T cells and T-regulatory cells was developed and tested in CD3+ T cells from two healthy individuals after 12 hour stimulation (anti CD3/CD28 beads plus recombinant IL-2). Cells were stained for all antibodies, Iridium and cisplatin and analysed on the CyTOF Helios. Data will be analysed with traditional biaxial gating as well commercially available packages such as cytofkit.
Results: The IL-2 wGRS demonstrated an increased percentage of individuals in the high risk group in the extended oligoarthritis, RF negative and RF positive polyarthritis subtypes suggesting a higher burden of IL-2 related loci. The odds of developing JIA for those in the highest risk group (quintile 5) compared to all others was increased in these subtypes (OR 2 95% CI 1.45-2.76, OR 2.39 95%CI 1.87-3.04, OR 2.14 95% CI 1.49-3.09, respectively). Comparing this to a wGRS generated from JIA susceptibility loci excluding IL-2 related genes shows that this enrichment is specific to the IL-2 wGRS. Biaxial gating of CyTOF data showed increases in activation markers after stimulation (CD25, CD69, CD38 and HLA-DR, decrease CCR7). We demonstrated that our panel can successfully identify traditional CD4+ T cell subsets showing differences between stimulated and unstimulated cells and between individuals.
Conclusion: Our analysis has shown that patients with oligoarthritis and polyarthritis have an increased burden of JIA susceptibility variants in genes related to IL-2 regulation and response suggesting these individuals may benefit from IL-2 therapy. Using the CyTOF panel we can now analyse individuals with high and low GRS allowing us to identify cellular subsets which may be altered by these genetic variants.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Yarwood A, Smith S, Eyre S, Thomson W. Linking Genetics to T Cell Phenotype in JIA: Rationale for IL-2 Therapy [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2018; 70 (suppl 10). https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/linking-genetics-to-t-cell-phenotype-in-jia-rationale-for-il-2-therapy/. Accessed August 23, 2019.
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