Neutralizing anti–IL-1 receptor antagonist autoantibodies induce inflammatory and fibrotic mediators in IgG4-related disease

Justin A. Jarrell, Matthew C. Baker, Cory A. Perugino, Hang Liu, Michelle S. Bloom, Takashi Maehara, Heidi H. Wong, Tobias V. Lanz, Julia Z. Adamska, Sarah Kongpachith, Jeremy Sokolove, John H. Stone, Shiv S. Pillai, William H. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Background: IgG4-related disease (IgG4-RD) is a fibroinflammatory condition involving loss of B-cell tolerance and production of autoantibodies. However, the relevant targets and role of these aberrant humoral immune responses are not defined. Objective: Our aim was to identify novel autoantibodies and autoantigen targets that promote pathogenic responses in IgG4-RD. Methods: We sequenced plasmablast antibody repertoires in patients with IgG4-RD. Representative mAbs were expressed and their specificities characterized by using cytokine microarrays. The role of anti–IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA) autoantibodies was investigated by using in vitro assays. Results: We identified strong reactivity against human IL-1RA by using a clonally expanded plasmablast-derived mAb from a patient with IgG4-RD. Plasma from patients with IgG4-RD exhibited elevated levels of reactivity against IL-1RA compared with plasma from the controls and neutralized IL-1RA activity, resulting in inflammatory and fibrotic mediator production in vitro. IL-1RA was detected in lesional tissues from patients with IgG4-RD. Patients with anti–IL-1RA autoantibodies of the IgG4 subclass had greater numbers of organs affected than did those without anti–IL-1RA autoantibodies. Peptide analyses identified IL-1RA epitopes targeted by anti–IL-1RA antibodies at sites near the IL-1RA/IL-1R interface. Serum from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) also had elevated levels of anti–IL-1RA autoantibodies compared with those of the controls. Conclusion: A subset of patients with IgG4-RD have anti–IL-1RA autoantibodies, which promote proinflammatory and profibrotic meditator production via IL-1RA neutralization. These findings support a novel immunologic mechanism underlying the pathogenesis of IgG4-RD. Anti–IL-1RA autoantibodies are also present in a subset of patients with SLE and RA, suggesting a potential common pathway in multiple autoimmune diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358-368
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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