Association of autoantibodies to glucose-6-phosphate isomerase with extraarticular complications in rheumatoid arthritis




In the K/BxN mouse model, autoantibodies against glucose-6-phosphate isomerase (GPI) cause arthritis. The relevance of this model for human disease remains a subject of controversy. We set out to determine whether GPI autoantibodies occur in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and, if so, at what stage of the RA.


Using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, serum from 131 RA patients and 28 healthy controls was tested for autoantibodies against recombinant human GPI. Patients were grouped according to disease duration and presence of rheumatoid nodules, rheumatoid vasculitis, and Felty's syndrome, which are extraarticular complications of RA.


Elevated levels of autoantibodies against GPI were present in 5% of patients with uncomplicated RA and 4% of controls. In RA complicated by extraarticular manifestations, anti-GPI antibodies were observed in 18% of patients with rheumatoid nodules, 45% of patients with rheumatoid vasculitis, and 92% of patients with Felty's syndrome.


In patients with RA, autoantibodies to GPI are associated with the occurrence of extraarticular complications.