INTRODUCTION/AIMS: Cytosolic 5'-nucleotidase 1A (cN-1A) autoantibodies have been recognized as myositis-related autoantibodies. However, their correlations with clinical characteristics and other myositis-specific and myositis-associated autoantibodies (MSAs/MAAs) are still unclear. We aimed to establish the prevalence and clinical and laboratory associations of cN-1A autoantibodies in a cohort of patients with connective tissue diseases.
METHODS: A total of 567 participants (182 idiopathic inflammatory myopathies [IIM], 164 systemic lupus erythematosus [SLE], 121 systemic sclerosis [SSc], and 100 blood donors [BD]) were tested for the presence of cN-1A autoantibodies and other myositis-specific and myositis-associated autoantibodies (MSAs/MAAs). Clinical and laboratory characteristics were compared between anti-cN-1A positive and negative patients with sporadic inclusion body myositis (sIBM) and between anti-cN-1A positive and negative patients with non-IBM IIM.
RESULTS: In the sIBM cohort, 30 patients (46.9%) were anti-cN-1A positive vs. 18 (15.2%) in the non-IBM IIM cohort, 17 (10%) were anti-cN-1A positive in the SLE cohort and none in the SSc or the BD cohorts. Anti-cN-1A positivity had an overall sensitivity of 46.9% and a specificity of 93.2% for sIBM. Dysphagia was more frequent in the anti-cN-1A positive vs. negative sIBM patients (p = .04). In the non-IBM IIM group, being anti-cN-1A antibody positive was associated with the diagnosis polymyositis (p = .04) and overlap-myositis (p = .04) and less disease damage evaluated by physician global damage score (p < .001).
DISCUSSION: cN-1A autoantibodies were predominantly found in IIM patients and was associated with dysphagia in sIBM patients. Notably, anti-cN-1A appears to identify a distinct phenotype of anti-cN-1A positive non-IBM IIM patients with a milder disease course.