Les auto-anticorps, marqueurs immunologiques de l’hétérogénéité de la sclérodermie systémique

Abstract : Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a connective tissue disease (CTD) characterized by vasculopathy, auto-immunity and fibrosis. This condition is associated with a significant morbi-mortality, and the therapeutic armamentarium is limited. The pathological mechanisms of SSc are partially known, but the links between the immune system and fibrosis appear tight. ScS can be considered as a prototypical model for the study of the links between immunity and fibrosis. There is a high heterogeneity in SSc. The clinical phenotypes of patients are highly variable, making the classification of patients into homogeneous groups complex. A better understanding of this heterogeneity could lead to the identification of endotypes, which are needed to study the pathophysiological processes of each group.This PhD Thesis aimed to better decipher this clinical heterogeneity and to assess the immunological components, in particular auto-antibodies, as biomarkers of heterogeneity.The first work was a without any a priori cluster analysis in the EUSTAR (European Scleroderma Trials and Research Group) cohort using 24 selected variables (encompassing clinical involvement and auto-antibodies). Two then 6 homogeneous clusters were obtained, with significantly different survival curves. We suggested that there could be homogeneous groups of patients beyond the classical dichotomy diffuse cutaneous form vs. limited. Organ involvement as well as antibody status were suggested to play a major role in defining homogeneous groups of patients with different prognosis.Our second work assessed the value of serum free light chain (SFLC) in SSc. The SFLC level was higher in SSc patients than in controls and was associated with severity parameters, such as Rodnan skin score, disease activity score, pulmonary pressures and DLCO. This study suggested that B cells could play an active role in the mechanisms of SSc.Then we estimated the prevalence of anti-RNA polymerase III antibodies in SSc in our cohort of patients followed by a systematic review with meta-analysis. We showed that the prevalence was highly heterogeneous between centers. Potential factors explaining partly the observed heterogeneity were geographical factors, which underscore the probable implication that genetic background and environmental factors play a role.Finally we focused on CTD-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in a large cohort of patients from the United Kingdom national reference center for PAH. We assessed whether anti-U1 RNP antibodies could be a prognostic factor in CTD-associated PAH with a focus on SSc- associated PAH. Anti-U1RNP antibodies were significantly associated with a decreased mortality in CTD-PAH patients. There was a trend towards a decreased mortality in SSc-PAH patients with anti-U1RNP antibodies.Auto-antibodies are strong biomarkers of diagnosis and prognosis in SSc. They allow to partly capture the clinical heterogeneity of this condition, and should be integrated in the future classifications of patients. Their pathogenic role remains to be shown. We plan to identify new auto-antibodies in SSc and to study their direct effects on the fibroblast, which is the key effector cell of fibrosis.
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Vincent Sobanski. Les auto-anticorps, marqueurs immunologiques de l’hétérogénéité de la sclérodermie systémique. Médecine humaine et pathologie. Université du Droit et de la Santé - Lille II, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017LIL2S027⟩. ⟨tel-01975063⟩



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