Gene expression regulated by abatacept associated with methotrexate and correlation with disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis
Abatacept acts as a competitive inhibitor of the CD28/(CD80/86) costimulation signal required for T cell activation. Mechanisms of action of abatacept have not been fully investigated. The objective of this study was to provide detailed insight into the mode of action of Abatacept based on gene expression data. In this ancillary study from the APPRAISE trial, we investigated the global molecular effects of Abatacept in whole blood samples collected prospectively in biologic naive rheumatoid
... aive rheumatoid arthritis patients (n = 19) at baseline and 6 months after the initiation of Abatacept therapy concomitant with methotrexate. Whole human genome microarrays (4x44K) were performed on both baseline and 6-month samples from responders and non-responders patients categorized according to EULAR criteria. T-test with Benjamini-Hochberg correction was performed to identify significant gene expression changes. Gene Ontology and Single Experiment Analysis tools allowed us to highlight specific biological mechanisms involved in methotrexate/Abatacept. In methotrexate/Abatacept responders, 672 genes were significantly (q<0.05) dysregulated at 6 months compared to baseline. Correlation analysis highlighted 19 genes whose dysregulations were significantly associated with disease activity variation (p<0.05) and whose functions were associated with proliferation, apoptosis of cells and mitochondrial metabolism, suggesting a restoration of oxidative signaling. The other 653 gene expression changes were relative to direct or indirect effects of methotrexate/Abatacept treatment and were significantly (p<0.005) involved in pathways relative to mRNA processing, proteasome, angiogenesis, apoptosis and TCR signaling. This study highlights new mechanisms of action of methotrexate/Abatacept and may provide new therapeutic targets to prevent autoimmunity in rheumatoid arthritis.