High-Dimensional Analysis Reveals Distinct Endotypes in Patients With Idiopathic Inflammatory Myopathies

Erin M. Wilfong, Todd Bartkowiak, Katherine N. Vowell, Camille S. Westlake, Jonathan M. Irish, Peggy L. Kendall, Leslie J. Crofford, Rachel H. Bonami, Investigators MYSTIC Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIM) are a rare clinically heterogeneous group of conditions affecting the skin, muscle, joint, and lung in various combinations. While myositis specific autoantibodies are well described, we postulate that broader immune endotypes exist in IIM spanning B cell, T cell, and monocyte compartments. This study aims to identify immune endotypes through detailed immunophenotyping of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in IIM patients compared to healthy controls. We collected PBMCs from 17 patients with a clinical diagnosis of inflammatory myositis and characterized the B, T, and myeloid cell subsets using mass cytometry by time of flight (CyTOF). Data were analyzed using a combination of the dimensionality reduction algorithm t-distributed stochastic neighbor embedding (t-SNE), cluster identification, characterization, and regression (CITRUS), and marker enrichment modeling (MEM); supervised biaxial gating validated populations identified by these methods to be differentially abundant between groups. Using these approaches, we identified shared immunologic features across all IIM patients, despite different clinical features, as well as two distinct immune endotypes. All IIM patients had decreased surface expression of RP105/CD180 on B cells and a reduction in circulating CD3+CXCR3+ subsets relative to healthy controls. One IIM endotype featured CXCR4 upregulation across all cellular compartments. The second endotype was hallmarked by an increased frequency of CD19+CD21loCD11c+ and CD3+CD4+PD1+ subsets. The experimental and analytical methods we describe here are broadly applicable to studying other immune-mediated diseases (e.g., autoimmunity, immunodeficiency) or protective immune responses (e.g., infection, vaccination).

Original languageEnglish
Article number756018
JournalFrontiers in immunology
StatePublished - Feb 21 2022


  • dermatomyositis (DM)
  • idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIM)
  • immunophenotype
  • mass cytometry (CyTOF)
  • polymyositis (PM)


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