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Genes responding to Canakinumab therapy in SJIA are -inversely - disregulated in adult onset Still's disease


Adult-onset Still's disease (AOSD) is a rare auto-inflammatory disorder resembling a similar pediatric syndrome known as systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA).[1] The superimposable systemic and clinical features in SJIA and AOSD suggest that both clinical phenotypes represent a disease continuum with a pediatric (SJIA) and more adult-onset (AOSD).[2] Analyses of gene expression profiles may be useful not only for disease classification, diagnosis, and prognosis, but also to identify disease specific treatment effects that counteract the underlying pathological mechanisms. Here, we address the question: How do genes that respond to canakinumab treatment in SJIA patients[3] behave in AOSD patients with active disease relative to healthy controls and prior to IL-1 targeting therapy?


To determine how genes that respond to IL-1β blockade with canakinumab in SJIA patients behave in AOSD patients relative to healthy controls.

Patients and methods

SJIA gene expression profiles pre- and post canakinumab treatment were compared with AOSD patients relative to healthy subjects using Affymetrix U133Plus2 DNA microarrays.


Consistently, all genes down-regulated in SJIA following canakinumab treatment were upregulated in a majority of AOSD patients with active disease relative to healthy subjects and prior to canakinumab treatment. A few of the AOSD patients resembled healthy subjects. Comparison of the gene expression patterns to neutrophil counts suggested that elevated neutrophil numbers were closely correlated to the up-regulation of IL-1 associated gene expression.


Results are consistent with and further support the concept of a Still's disease continuum that presents as pediatric/juvenile SJIA or adult-onset Still's disease. Moreover, they suggest that AOSD is an IL-1 driven condition that is also mechanistically similar to SJIA and that the observed canakinumab response signature is likely to show a comparable treatment response to IL-1β blockade in AOSD.


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  2. Jamilloux Y, et al: Immunol Res. 2015, 61 (1-2): 53-62. 10.1007/s12026-014-8561-9.

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  3. Brachat A, et al: Ann Rheum Dis. 2014, 73: 62-

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Brachat, A., Feist, E., Behrens, F. et al. Genes responding to Canakinumab therapy in SJIA are -inversely - disregulated in adult onset Still's disease. Pediatr Rheumatol 13 (Suppl 1), P4 (2015).

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