Determining the lung as an initiating site of autoimmunity in the development of rheumatoid arthritis
The etiology of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) remains unknown; however, there is a preclinical period of RA development during which autoimmunity is present in the absence of inflammatory arthritis supporting that autoimmunity in RA originates at a site outside of the joints. The hypothesis of these studies is that the lung mucosa is an originating site of anti-citrullinated protein/peptide antibodies (ACPA) in RA. Using induced sputum, we demonstrate that sputum ACPA is strongly associated with classifiable RA. Importantly, sputum ACPA, particularly ACPA-IgA, was also present in the lung in a portion ...
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