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Papers of the Week

Papers: 8 Jul 2023 - 14 Jul 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, In Vitro Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology

Arthritis, Inflammation/Inflammatory

2023 Jul 10

Brain Behav Immun


Editor's Pick

Insights into FcγR involvement in RA-associated autoantibody-induced pain-like behavior.


Jurczak A, Sandor K, Bersellini Farinotti A, Krock E, Hunt M, Agalave NM, Barbier J, Simon N, Wang Z, Rudjito R, Antonio Vazquez Mora J, Martinez-Martinez A, Raoof R, Eijkelkamp N, Grönwall C, Klareskog L, Miguel Jimenéz-Andrade J, Marchand F, Svensson CI


Joint pain is one of the most debilitating symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and patients frequently rate improvements in pain management as their priority. RA is hallmarked by the presence of autoantibodies against several post-translationally modified proteins (AMPAs) such as citrullinated, carbamylated and acetylated proteins. It has been suggested that autoantibody-mediated processes represent distinct mechanisms contributing to pain in RA. In this study we investigated the pronociceptive properties of monoclonal AMPA 1325:01B09 (B09 mAb) derived from plasma cells of a RA patient. We found that B09 mAb induces pain-like behavior in mice that is not associated with any visual, histological or transcriptional signs of inflammation in the joints, and not alleviated by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Instead, we found that B09 mAb is retained in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and alters the expression of several satellite glia cell (SGC), neuron and macrophage-related factors in DRGs. Using mice that lack activating FcγRs, we uncovered that FcγRs are critical for the development of B09-induced pain-like behavior, and partially drive the transcriptional changes in the DRGs. Finally, we observed that B09 mAb binds SGC in vitro and in combination with external stimuli like ATP enhances transcriptional changes and protein release of pronociceptive factors from SGCs. We propose that certain RA antibodies bind epitopes in the DRG, here on SGCs, form immune complexes and activate resident macrophages via FcγR cross-linking. Our work supports the growing notion that autoantibodies can alter nociceptor signaling via mechanisms that are at large independent of local inflammatory processes in the joint.