Expression of Myxovirus-resistance Protein A: A Possible Marker of Muscle Disease Activity and Autoantibody Specificities in Juvenile Dermatomyositis

Sirisucha Soponkanaporn, Claire T Deakin, Peter W Schutz, Lucy R Marshall, Shireena A Yasin, Cerise M Johnson, Erdal Sag, Sarah L Tansley, Neil J McHugh, Lucy R Wedderburn, Thomas S Jacques

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Aims: To evaluate the relationship between expression of myxovirus-resistance protein A (MxA) protein on muscle biopsies by immunohistochemistry and disease activity in juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM) patients. Also, another aim was to investigate whether the expression of MxA is related with myositis-specific autoantibodies (MSA) status in JDM patients. Methods: 103 patients (median aged 6.3, interquartile range 0.5–15.9) enrolled in the Juvenile Dermatomyositis Cohort and Biomarker Study (JDCBS). Muscle biopsies were stained with MxA and scored. Clinical data at initial presentation were collected and autoantibodies were analysed. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed to estimate the association between MxA expression on muscle fibres and muscle disease activity, and MSA status. Results: Expression of MxA protein on JDM samples was identified in 61.2%. There was a significant association between MxA scores and Childhood Myositis Assessment Scale (CMAS) (P = 0.002), and Manual Muscle Testing of Eight Muscles (MMT8) (P = 0.026). CMAS and MMT8 scores were significantly lower in the group of patients with strong MxA expression. MxA scores differed according to MSA subgroups (P = 0.002). Patients with positive nuclear matrix protein 2 autoantibodies had strong MxA expression, whereas anti-melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 positive patients had no or weak MxA expression. Conclusions: This study reveals the significant association between level of MxA expression on muscle fibres and clinical measures of muscular disease activity in JDM patients and MSA status. This confirms type I interferonopathies in muscle fibres of JDM patients which could help with improving treatment outcome in JDM patients and underscoring the distinct pathophysiological pathways in different MSA status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-420
Number of pages11
JournalNeuropathology and Applied Neurobiology
Issue number4
Early online date16 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

© 2018 The Authors Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Neuropathological Society.


  • biopsy
  • disease activity
  • interferon
  • juvenile dermatomyositis
  • myositis
  • myositis-specific autoantibody

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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