Urinary proteomics can define distinct diagnostic inflammatory arthritis subgroups

Sci Rep. 2017 Jan 16:7:40473. doi: 10.1038/srep40473.


Current diagnostic tests applied to inflammatory arthritis lack the necessary specificity to appropriately categorise patients. There is a need for novel approaches to classify patients with these conditions. Herein we explored whether urinary proteomic biomarkers specific for different forms of arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), osteoarthritis (OA)) or chronic inflammatory conditions (inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)) can be identified. Fifty subjects per group with RA, PsA, OA or IBD and 50 healthy controls were included in the study. Two-thirds of these populations were randomly selected to serve as a training set, while the remaining one-third was reserved for validation. Sequential comparison of one group to the other four enabled identification of multiple urinary peptides significantly associated with discrete pathological conditions. Classifiers for the five groups were developed and subsequently tested blind in the validation test set. Upon unblinding, the classifiers demonstrated excellent performance, with an area under the curve between 0.90 and 0.97 per group. Identification of the peptide markers pointed to dysregulation of collagen synthesis and inflammation, but also novel inflammatory markers. We conclude that urinary peptide signatures can reliably differentiate between chronic arthropathies and inflammatory conditions with discrete pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnosis*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / urine*
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / diagnosis*
  • Inflammation / urine*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • ROC Curve


  • Biomarkers
  • Peptides