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vol. 53
Original paper

The relationship between the presence of autoantibodies, indicators of local and systemic inflammation, the serum concentration of B-cell activating factor (BAFF) and the intensity of salivary gland infiltration in patients with primary Sjögren’s syndrome – a preliminary study

Maria Maślińska
Ewa Kontny
Brygida Kwiatkowska

Reumatologia 2015; 53, 6: 321–327
Online publish date: 2016/02/11
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Objectives: The aim of this study was to find markers related to activation of B cells, which show a correlation with the systemic inflammation markers – erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein and with the intensity of in situ inflammation.

Material and methods: Forty-one primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS) patients (33 female, 8 male) of the mean age 52.9 ±15 years were included. A group of 20 healthy volunteers was applied as a control. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), concentration of gamma-globulins, C-reactive protein (CRP) and rheumatoid factor (RF) were measured by routine laboratory tests. Titres of antinuclear antibodies (ANAs) were determined by the indirect immunofluorescence method, while anti-SS-A/SS-B antibodies were detected by both the dot-blot method and an enzyme immunoassay. The concentrations of BAFF in sera were measured by sandwich ELISA. Biopsies of minor salivary glands were taken and the focus score (FS) was calculated. Correlations between quantitative variables were assessed using the Spearman correlation coefficient (r).

Results: Serum concentrations of BAFF was significantly higher in the pSS patients than in the control group. The study revealed a statistically significant correlation between ANAs titre and the FS (r = 0.421).

Anti-SS-A/Ro and anti-SS-B/La antibodies positively correlated with ESR. There was also a positive correlation between the gamma globulin level and the titres of all tested autoantibodies.

Conclusions: The positive correlation between ANAs and FS confirms the importance of these autoantibodies in the local inflammatory process. The positive correlation between anti-SS-A/SS-B antibodies and ESR suggests involvement of these antibodies in generalization of the inflammatory response. In the pSS group serum concentrations of BAFF were statistically significantly higher than healthy volunteers. All presented results confirm the role of activity of B cells in the course of pSS.

Sjögren’s syndrome, autoantibodies, B-cell activating factor

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