Soluble cell adhesion molecules (sICAM-1, sVCAM-1, and sE-selectin) in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis.Scand J Rheumatol 2007 Sep-Oct; 36(5):345-50SJ
The aim of the study was to analyse serum concentrations of soluble cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) before and after 6 months of treatment with methotrexate (MTX).
We studied 32 RA patients, untreated with disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) or corticosteroids, with disease duration less than 3 years. Twenty osteoarthritis (OA) patients constituted the control group. The analysis of serum levels of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1), and E-selectin (sE-selectin) was based on a quantitative sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
In comparison with OA patients, higher serum concentrations of sICAM-1 (p<0.01), sVCAM-1 (p<0.01), and sE-selectin (p<0.05) were observed in untreated patients with early RA. Six months of treatment with MTX down-regulated serum concentrations of sICAM-1, sVCAM-1, and sE-selectin (in all cases p<0.001) in the RA patients studied. MTX treatment was also followed by a decrease in the clinical markers of RA activity, such as the number of painful and swollen joints, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), disease activity score (DAS), and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels.
Patients with early RA are characterized by high serum concentrations of sICAM-1, sVCAM-1, and sE-selectin. Therapy with MTX resulted in clinical improvement and diminished serum levels of soluble CAMs in the RA patients studied, confirming the effectiveness of MTX in early stages of the disease.