Abnormal κ:λ Light Chain Ratio in Circulating Immune Complexes as a Marker for B Cell Activity in Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

Authors

  • J. M. Low,

    1. Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO
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  • A. K. Chauhan,

    1. ProGen Biologics, LLC, Saint Louis, MO
    2. Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO, USA
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  • T. L. Moore

    1. Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO
    2. Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO, USA
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T. L. Moore, MD, Room 213A Doisy Hall, 1402 South Grand Blvd., Saint Louis, MO 63104, USA. E-mail: mooretl@slu.edu

Abstract

Patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) have been shown to have elevated levels of circulating immune complexes (CICs) which correlated with disease activity. Our aim was to assess B cell activity by measuring the amount of and the κ:λ chain immunoglobulin light (L) chain ratio in CICs from JIA patients and to determine potential evidence for either an antigen-driven response or B-cell receptor editing. We used an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to measure κ and λ chains present in the CICs from the sera of patients with JIA. Statistical analysis was performed using Pearson's correlation, one-way ANOVA and Bonferroni post hoc analysis. Sera from 44 JIA patients were examined for the concentration of L chains in CICs. Healthy controls had a κ:λ chain ratio of 1.2:1, whereas this ratio was reversed among JIA subgroups with RF-positive polyarthritis (1:1.2), RF-negative polyarthritis (1:1.3), oligoarthritis (1:2.3) and systemic-onset arthritis (1:2.5). In addition, overall λ chain selection was not significantly associated with a particular immunoglobulin heavy (H) chain and occurred with all immunoglobulin isotypes. We showed preferential selection of λ chains contributing to the formation of potentially pathogenic CICs from JIA patients, of all onset types compared to healthy controls, in an H chain-independent manner. The reversal of κ:λ chain ratio within the JIA CICs and association with all immunoglobulin isotypes demonstrated the potential for L chain editing. Furthermore, we conclude that a reversal of the normal κ:λ chain ratio in JIA CICs may be used as a marker for increased B-cell activity.

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