CXCL13 as biomarker for histological involvement in Sjögren’s Syndrome

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • 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


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