We recruited RA patients (all patients were treatment naive) and OA patients matched for age and sex from December 2017 to May 2020; all donors received oral and written information about the possibility that their blood would be used for research purposes and gave written consent. All of the RA patients met the 1987 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) classification criteria [46]. The sample collection procedures passed the ethical review for human biomedical research of the University of Science and Technology of China (USTCEC201700012). Samples were obtained from the First Affiliated Hospital of the University of Science and Technology of China. The clinical data collected for the patients are summarized in Additional file 2: Table S1.

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