Increased adhesion molecule levels in systemic lupus erythematosus: relationships with severity of illness, autoimmunity, metabolic syndrome and cortisol levels
Lupus | 6 Feb 2018
LF da Rosa Franchi Santos, NP Stadtlober, LG Costa Dall'Aqua, BM Scavuzzi, PM Guimarães, T Flauzino, MA Batisti Lozovoy, TV Mayumi Iriyoda, EM Vissoci Reiche, I Dichi, M Maes and A Colado Simão
Background This study was performed to assess adhesion molecules in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Methods This case-control study examined 126 SLE patients and 48 healthy individuals. Blood levels of six adhesion molecules, cortisol, nuclear autoantibody (ANA) and anti-double stranded DNA (anti-dsDNA) titers were measured, while disease activity was assessed using the SLE Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI) score. Results Platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule 1 (PECAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1), E-selectin, P-selectin, and plasminogen activator inhibitor type-1 (PAI-1) were significantly higher in SLE patients than in controls. Binary logistic regression analysis showed that PECAM-1 and PAI-1 predicted SLE with a sensitivity of 86.5% and a specificity of 81.3%. ANA titers were significantly and positively associated with PECAM-1, VCAM-1, E-selectin, and PAI-1, whereas there were no associations between anti-dsDNA titers and adhesion molecules. Cortisol was negatively associated with PCAM-1 and ICAM-1. There were significant associations between metabolic syndrome (MetS) and E-selectin and PAI-1. 14.8% of the variance in the SLEDAI score was explained by the regression on PECAM-1 and MetS. Conclusions Our data show that adhesion molecules, especially PECAM-1, are significantly associated with SLE and disease activity, suggesting that they play a role in SLE pathophysiology. While MetS, ANA titers and cortisol levels modulate adhesion molecule levels, these associations do not explain the increased levels of adhesion molecules in SLE. Increased levels of adhesion molecules are new drug targets in SLE.
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