CXCL13 as biomarker for histological involvement in Sjögren’s Syndrome

ESSENTIAL (EULAR Sjögren's Syndrome Study Group), HarmonicSS (H2020), Serena Colafrancesco, Roberta Priori, Charlotte Smith, Antonina Minniti, Valentina Iannizzotto, Elena Pipi, Davide Lucchesi, Elena Pontarini, Saba Nayar, Joana Campos, Francesca Arienzo, Massimo Fusconi, Bruna Cerbelli, Carla Giordano, Guido Valesini, Michele Bombardieri, Benjamin Fisher, Francesca Barone

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OBJECTIVES: SS is an autoimmune condition characterized by systemic B-cell activation, autoantibody production and ectopic germinal centres' formation within the salivary gland (SG). The extent of SG infiltrate has been proposed as a biomarker of disease severity. Plasma levels of CXCL13 correlate with germinal centres' activity in animal models and disease severity in SS, suggesting its potential use as a surrogate serum marker to monitor local B-cell activation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential role of CXCL13 as a biomarker of SG pathology in two independent SS cohorts. METHODS: 109 patients with SS were recruited at Sapienza University of Rome (Italy) (n = 60), or at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and Barts Health NHS Trust in London (n = 49). Both sera and matched minor SG biopsy were available. Sicca (n = 57) and healthy subjects' (n = 19) sera were used as control. RESULTS: CXCL13 serum level was higher in SS patients compared with controls. Correlations between its serum levels and a series of histomorphological parameters, including size of the aggregates and the presence germinal centres', were observed. CONCLUSION: Our data foster the use of CXCL13 to monitor the extent of local pathology in SS and its validation in longitudinal clinical studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-170
Number of pages6
JournalRheumatology (Oxford, England)
Issue number1
Early online date4 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Sjögren’s syndrome
  • biomarkers
  • histopathology
  • cytokines and inflammatory mediators
  • lymphocytes


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