Citrullinated peptides triggering innate immune memory

In rheumatoid arthritis, citrullinated peptides are regarded as non-self neoepitopes in a given genetic background and lead to the production of anti-citrullinated peptides antibodies that are very specific for the disease. We showed that citrullinated vimentin (but not native vimentin) have a direct effect on the activity of monocytes. It induces a process of innate immune memory (also called trained immunity), which allows the cells to increase their response to subsequent unrelated stimuli. Using ATAQ-Seq, we found that citrullinated vimentin produces chromatin changes, allowing increased expression of genes encoding proteins involved in signalling pathways and inflammation. This process may contribute to a chronic inflammatory state. An aim of the project is to target the mechanisms leading to trained immunity that are triggered by citrullinated vimentin. Grafik NM Project.jpg


Emmanuel Karouzakis (PhD), Katerina Laskari (MD), Shweta Sabu (MSc ETH pharmaceutical science)


  • Niels P Riksen, Department of Internal Medicine, Radboud University Medical Center, Geert Grooteplein Zuid 8, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
  • Mariam Grigorian, Faculty of Health Sciences, Center of Neuroscience, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.



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