Mediterr J Rheumatol 2016;27(3):124-7
Immunoprofiling for Prediction of Response to Abatacept in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
Authors Information

1: Rheumatology Clinic, Medical School, University of Crete, Greece
2: Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens (BRFAA), Greece
3: Laboratory of Rheumatology, Inflammation and Autoimmunity, Medical School, University of Crete, Greece


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease which causes musculoskeletal pain, disability and reduced life expectancy. Activation of immune cells – especially - T helper (Th) lymphocytes - resulting in aberrant production and release of cytokines and chemokines has been demonstrated as one of the major events in the pathogenesis and progression of the disease. Abatacept is a recombinant fusion protein which selectively modulates T-cell activation by blocking the co-stimulation of T cells by inhibiting the CD28-CD80/CD86 pathway between T cells and antigen presenting cells. Abatacept has been licensed for treatment of RA in patients with refractory disease, despite administration of conventional disease-modifying drugs. The current project will be an observational, prospective, single-center study of RA patients starting treatment with abatacept, due to residual disease activity. During the study period of 12 months we aim to investigate whether the peripheral blood immunological profile of RA patients may be used as a biomarker to predict clinical responses to abatacept by characterizing the phenotype and function of pathogenic and regulatory cell subsets and identifying the cytokine and/or chemokine signature in serum of RA individuals receiving this regimen.