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Abatacept may be effective and safe in patients with amyloid A amyloidosis secondary to rheumatoid arthritis

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2014 Vol.32, N°4
PI 0501, PF 0508
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PMID: 24959698 [PubMed]

Received: 28/09/2013
Accepted : 24/01/2014
In Press: 23/06/2014
Published: 23/07/2014


To examine the efficacy and safety of abatacept (ABT) in patients with amyloid A (AA) amyloidosis secondary to rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and to speculate about the immunologic association of ABT with AA amyloid deposit regression.
We administered ABT to 70- and 65-year-old Japanese women with RA and AA amyloidosis. We quantified serum cytokine concentrations and analysed regulatory T lymphocytes (Treg cells) via flow cytometry. We also studied AA amyloid deposits via histopathology and immunohistochemistry.
ABT improved rheumatoid inflammation and AA amyloidosis, one case showing clinical remission and the other demonstrating incomplete recovery of nephrosis but stable kidney function. Serum levels of interleukin-6 and tumour necrosis factor α decreased to baseline in the first 6 months of treatment, but serum interleukin-2 concentrations did not change. CD4+CD25++FoxP3+ Treg cells gated on T lymphocytes and CD4+ T lymphocytes decreased to baseline in the first 3 treatment months. One case showed complete regression of AA amyloid fibrils in serial upper gastrointestinal biopsies, but the other case still had AA amyloid deposits despite ABT-induced normalised rheumatoid inflammation, with polymorphonuclear leukocytes and macrophages infiltrating tissues containing AA amyloid.
ABT demonstrated efficacy and safety in AA amyloidosis secondary to RA and affected Treg cells and inflammatory cytokines. Because the gradual decrease in Treg cells population coincided with AA amyloid deposit regression during ABT therapy, AA amyloid fibril turnover in these patients may involve an immunologic mechanism. Phagocytes seemed to have an important role in AA amyloid fibril regression, which suggests an immunologic interaction.

Rheumatology Article