Effect of climatic environment on immunological features of rheumatoid arthritis

Sci Rep. 2023 Jan 24;13(1):1304. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-27153-3.


The aim of this study was to clarify the effect of climatic environment on the immunological features of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Blood samples were collected from patients with RA and healthy controls (HCs), matched by age and sex, living in two locations, Tsukuba and Karuizawa, which differ in their altitude and average air temperature and atmospheric pressure. Analysis of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) revealed that the proportion of T and B cell subpopulations in HCs and RA patients were significantly different between two sites. Inverse probability weighting adjustment with propensity scores was used to control for potential confounding factors. The results revealed that, in comparison with RA patients in Tsukuba, those in Karuizawa showed a significant increase in cTh1, cTfh1, and Tph cells, and significant decrease in cTh17, cTh17.1, and CD8+ Treg in T cell subpopulations, and a significant increase in DNB, DN1, DN2, and class-switched memory B cells, and a significant decrease in unswitched memory B, naïve B cells, and ABCs in B cell subpopulations. Our results suggest the possibility that climatic environment might have an effect on immune cell proportion and function, and be related to the pathogenic mechanism of RA.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid* / immunology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid* / physiopathology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Environment*
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear* / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology