Objective: To evaluate the role of HLA-DRB1 genotypes and antibodies to cyclic citrullinated peptides (anti-CCP antibodies) in the development and radiographic progression of Japanese patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Methods: One hundred and ten patients with early RA (88 female, 22 male) who visited our clinic within 1 year of symptom onset were examined for anti-CCP antibody levels and HLA-DRB1 genotypes. HLA-DRB1 genotypes were also determined in 265 healthy controls. Radiographic progression over a 2-year interval was evaluated using the Larsen's method in 66 patients.
Results: Among the 110 patients with early RA, 82 patients (74.5%) were anti-CCP positive. Carrier frequency of HLA-DRB1*0405 was significantly increased in RA patients with anti-CCP antibodies compared with controls and RA patients without anti-CCP antibodies (odds ratio [OR] 3.4, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 2.0-5.7 and OR 3.3, 95% CI 1.3-8.6, respectively). Carriership of one or two SE alleles was significantly associated with production of anti-CCP antibodies (OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.1-6.7 and OR 9.3, 95% CI 1.1-78.2, respectively). On the other hand, allele frequency of HLA-DRB1*0901 was significantly increased in RA patients without anti-CCP antibodies compared with controls and RA patients with anti-CCP antibodies (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.1-4.1 and OR 3.0, 95% CI 1.4-6.4, respectively).
Conclusion: In Japanese patients with RA, HLA-DRB1 SE alleles are associated with production of anti-CCP antibodies and HLA-DRB1 alleles appear to be differently associated with early RA depending on anti-CCP positivity as in Caucasian patients with RA.