Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) comprises a poorly understood group of chronic, childhood onset, autoimmune diseases with variable clinical outcomes. We investigated whether profiling of the synovial fluid (SF) proteome by a fluorescent dye based, two-dimensional gel (DIGE) approach could distinguish patients in whom inflammation extends to affect a large number of joints, early in the disease process. SF samples from 22 JIA patients were analyzed: 10 with oligoarticular arthritis, 5 extended oligoarticular and 7 polyarticular disease. SF samples were labeled with Cy dyes and separated by two-dimensional electrophoresis. Multivariate analyses were used to isolate a panel of proteins which distinguish patient subgroups. Proteins were identified using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry with expression further verified by Western immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry. Hierarchical clustering based on the expression levels of a set of 40 proteins segregated the extended oligoarticular from the oligoarticular patients (p <0.05). Expression patterns of the isolated protein panel have also been observed over time, as disease spreads to multiple joints. The data indicates that synovial fluid proteome profiles could be used to stratify patients based on risk of disease extension. These protein profiles may also assist in monitoring therapeutic responses over time and help predict joint damage. © 2009 American Chemical Society.
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