The following article is a part of conference coverage from the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Convergence 2021, being held virtually from November 3 to 10, 2021. The team at Rheumatology Advisor will be reporting on the latest news and research conducted by leading experts in rheumatology. Check back for more from the ACR Convergence 2021.


Anti-ganglionic nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (gAChR) antibody may be used as a novel biomarker for lupus enteritis in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), according to study results presented at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Convergence 2021, held virtually from November 3 to 10, 2021.

Although previous studies have shown that anti-gAChR antibody may be detected in several autoimmune diseases, including SLE, the clinical significance of this antibody has not been clearly understood yet.

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The objective of the current study was to compare the clinical manifestation of patients with SLE with the anti-gAChR antibody.

Measurement of serum anti-gAChR α3 and β4 subunits was conducted using a luciferase immunoprecipitation assay.

The retrospective study included 144 patients with SLE from the Hokkaido University Hospital in Japan from 2007 through 2019. Of these patients, 31.9% had neuropsychiatric SLE, 22.2% has antiphospholipid syndrome, 18.8% had pericarditis or pleuritis, and 14.6% had lupus enteritis.

Antibodies directed against the gAChR α3 and β4 subunits were identified in 29 (20.1%) and 8 (5.6%) patients, respectively.

Prevalence of lupus enteritis was higher among patients with anti-gAChR α3 antibody compared with those without the antibody (37.9% vs 8.7%, respectively; P <.001). Treatment with immunosuppression was associated with a significant reduction in the levels of the antibody (P =.001) in patients with lupus enteritis.

Using logistic regression analysis, the researchers identified anti-gAChR α3 antibody (odds ratio, 11.1; 95% CI, 3.4-36.2; P <.001) and lupus cystitis (odds ratio, 16.3; 95% CI, 2.07-127.8; P =.006) as independent predictors of lupus enteritis. At 10 years, patients with vs without the anti-gAChR α3 were at a significantly increased risk for relapse of lupus enteritis (27.0% vs 2.3%, respectively; P <.001).

“Anti-gAChRα3 antibody would be a new biomarker for the development and recurrence of [lupus enteritis] in patients with SLE, “the researchers concluded.

Disclosure: Some study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of disclosures.


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Aso K, Kono M, Ninagawa K, et al. Anti-gAChR antibody as a novel biomarker for lupus enteritis in systemic lupus erythematosus. Presented at: ACR Convergence 2021; November 3-10, 2021.