CD39 expression on immune cells predicts methotrexate response in rheumatoid arthritis patients

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Boral B., Tuncer İ., Kibar F., Çetiner S., Badak S. Ö., Salman E., ...More

TURKISH JOURNAL OF MEDICAL SCIENCES, vol.53, pp.1075-1083, 2023 (SCI-Expanded)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 53
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.55730/1300-0144.5672
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.1075-1083
  • Çukurova University Affiliated: Yes


Background/aim: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting mostly small joints, such as hand and foot

joints symmetrically with irreversible joint destruction. In this study, the relationship between CD39 expression and the treatment

response of RA patients was examined to investigate its potential as a biomarker that demonstrates treatment response.

Materials and methods: This study included 77 RA patients and 40 healthy controls (HC). The RA patients were divided into 2 groups

based on their response to RA treatment, those with a good response to methotrexate (MTX) monotherapy and those with an inadequate

response based on the American College of Rheumatology and the European League Against Rheumatism response criteria. Various

immunological parameters and Disease Activity Score in 28 Joints (DAS28) were examined between the groups using the Student’s


Results: The monocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cell (M-MDSC) percentage was higher in the RA patient group versus the HC

group. The CD39 expression in the T lymphocytes were higher in patients that responded well to the MTX compared to those showing

inadequate response. Additionally, s negative correlation was found between the DAS28 and CD39 in the T cells.

Conclusion: The results showed that the improvement in treatment response to the therapy in RA patients could be because of the

enhancement in the CD39/adenosine (ADO) pathway. Therefore, therapies targeting the CD39/ADO pathway in T cells may improve

RA treatments.

Key words: Rheumatoid arthritis, methotrexate, treatment response, individualized treatment, adenosine pathway, CD39