Levels of soluble E-selectin in patients with active Behcet's disease.Clin Rheumatol. 2005 Feb; 24(1):55-9.CR
Behcet's disease is a systemic vasculitis of unknown aetiology. Endothelial cell injury plays an important role in the pathogenesis and immunopathology of Behcet's disease. E-selectin is expressed by activated endothelial cells. Because the selectin adhesion molecules are shed from activated cells, soluble forms of these proteins can be used as activation markers of endothelium (E-selectin). The pathogenesis of Behcet's disease (BD) is closely related to endothelial cells, leucocyte functions and immunity. The aim of this study was to investigate circulating E-selectin adhesion molecules, which are known to play a significant part in the immune response especially by regulating interaction of the leucocytes with endothelium in BD. Plasma E-selectin concentrations were evaluated in 23 patients with BD and 20 healthy control subjects. The disease activity was evaluated by clinical manifestations (oral aphthous ulcer, genital ulceration, positive pathergy test, skin lesions, eye involvement, thrombophlebitis and arthritis) and by laboratory investigations [erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP)]. The patients were newly or previously diagnosed cases not taking any drug for BD. Levels of E-selectin were measured with commercially available sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits using human sE-selectin (cat. no: BMS 205). Plasma E-selectin concentrations of patients and controls were compared with the Mann-Whitney U test. Statistical significance was assigned to p values lower than 0.05. Serum levels (mean+/-SD) of soluble E-selectin (sE-selectin) were significantly higher in 23 patients with BD than in 20 healthy controls (53.2+/-18.2 ng/ml vs 33.8+/-7.5 ng/ml, p<0.0001). A statistically significant positive correlation was observed between sE-selectin levels and CRP and ESR in patients with BD (r=0.78, p<0.001 and r=0.56, p<0.01, respectively). Increases in the E-selectin in BD may be a direct consequence of the leucocyte and endothelium activations observed during the disease process. The noninvasive investigations can be used as biochemical markers for inflammation. This may provide additional information regarding disease activity along with the traditional indices such as ESR and CRP.