Type I interferons are implicated in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Type I interferoninducible mRNAs are widely and concordantly overexpressed in the periphery and involved tissues of a subset of SLE patients, and provide utility as pharmacodynamic biomarkers to aid dose selection, as well as potential indicators of patients who might respond favorably to anti-IFNa therapy in SLE. We implemented a three-tiered approach to identify a panel of type I interferon-inducible mRNAs to be used as potential pharmacodynamic biomarkers to aid dose selection in clinical trials of sifalimumab, an anti-IFNa monoclonal antibody under development for the treatment of SLE. In a single-dose escalation phase 1 trial, we observed a sifalimumab-specifi c and dose-dependent inhibition of the overexpression of type I interferon-inducible mRNAs in the blood of treated subjects. Inhibition of expression of type I interferon-inducible mRNAs and proteins was also observed in skin lesions of SLE subjects from the same trial. Inhibiting IFNa resulted in a profound downstream eff ect in these SLE subjects that included suppression of mRNAs of B-cell activating factor belonging to the TNF family and the signaling pathways of TNFa, IL-10, IL-1β, and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor in both the periphery and skin lesions. A scoring method based on the expression of type I interferon-inducible mRNAs partitioned SLE patients into two distinct subpopulations, which suggests the possibility of using these type I interferon-inducible genes as predictive biomarkers to identify SLE patients who might respond more favorably to anti-type I interferon therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy