Urinary prostanoids are elevated by anti-TNF and anti-IL6 receptor disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs but are not predictive of response to treatment in early rheumatoid arthritis

Jianyang Liu, Helena Idborg, Marina Korotkova, Kristina Lend, Ronald van Vollenhoven, Jon Lampa, Anna Rudin, Dan Nordström, Björn Guðbjörnsson, Gerður María Gröndal, Till Uhlig, Kim Hørslev-Petersen, Merete Lund Hetland, Mikkel Østergaard, Michael Nurmohamed, Per-Johan Jakobsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are widely used for treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, there are no established biomarkers to predict a patient's response to these therapies. Prostanoids, encompassing prostaglandins, prostacyclins, and thromboxanes, are potent lipid mediators implicated in RA progression. Nevertheless, the influence of DMARDs on prostanoid biosynthesis in RA patients remains poorly understood. This study aims to assess the impact of various DMARDs on urinary prostanoids levels and to explore whether urinary prostanoid profiles correlate with disease activity or response to therapy.

METHODS: This study included 152 Swedish female patients with early RA, all rheumatoid factor (RF) positive, enrolled in the NORD-STAR trial (registration number: NCT01491815). Participants were randomized into four therapeutic regimes: methotrexate (MTX) combined with (i) prednisolone (arm ACT), (ii) TNF-α blocker certolizumab pegol (arm CZP), (iii) CTLA-4Ig abatacept (arm ABA), or (iv) IL-6R blocker tocilizumab (arm TCZ). Urine samples, collected before start of treatment and at 24 weeks post-treatment, were analyzed for tetranor-prostaglandin E metabolite (tPGEM), tetranor-prostaglandin D metabolite (tPGDM), 2,3-dinor thromboxane B2 (TXBM), 2,3-dinor-6-keto prostaglandin F1a (PGIM), leukotriene E4 (LTE4) and 12-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (12-HETE) using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Generalized estimating equation (GEE) models were used to analyze the change in urinary eicosanoids and their correlations to clinical outcomes.

RESULTS: Patients receiving MTX combined with CZP or TCZ exhibited significant elevations in urinary tPGEM and TXBM levels after 24 weeks of treatment. Other eicosanoids did not show significant alterations in response to any treatment. Baseline urinary eicosanoid levels did not correlate with baseline clinical disease activity index (CDAI) levels, nor with changes in CDAI from baseline to week 24. Their levels were also similar between patients who achieved CDAI remission and those with active disease at week 24.

CONCLUSIONS: Treatment with anti-TNF or anti-IL6R agents in early RA patients leads to an increased systemic production of proinflammatory and prothrombotic prostanoids. However, urinary eicosanoid levels do not appear to be predictive of the response to DMARDs therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number61
Pages (from-to)61
Number of pages9
JournalArthritis research & therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.

Other keywords

  • 12-HETE
  • 2,3-dinor-6-keto-PGF
  • 2,3-dinor-TXB
  • LTE
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • tPGDM
  • tPGEM


Dive into the research topics of 'Urinary prostanoids are elevated by anti-TNF and anti-IL6 receptor disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs but are not predictive of response to treatment in early rheumatoid arthritis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this