Impaired autophagic flux and its related inflammation in patients with adult-onset Still's disease.

PMID 29416600


The pathogenic role of autophagic immune regulation in adult-onset Still's disease (AOSD) is unclear. We investigated the relative levels of autophagy in AOSD patients and healthy controls, its association with disease activity or course, and the change in autophagy after 6 months of therapy. Autophagosome levels were determined from the mean fluorescence intensity of autophagosomotropic dye incorporated into circulating immune cells. The fluorescent signal from lymphocytes, monocytes, and granulocytes from AOSD patients was greater than from controls. Levels of p62 fluorescence measured using flow cytometry in lymphocytes and granulocytes from AOSD patients was greater than in the corresponding cells from healthy controls. Expression of Atg5 and LC3-II mRNA and protein levels of p62 and LC3-II were elevated in AOSD patients. Moreover, AOSD activity scores correlated positively with autophagosome levels in monocytes and granulocytes, p62 levels in circulating immune cells, and levels of Beclin-1, Atg5, and LC3-II mRNA. Autophagosome levels and Atg mRNA expression decreased with disease remission in AOSD patients. Elevated autophagosome formation and p62 levels suggest impaired autophagic flux in AOSD.