Effect of etanercept on serum levels of soluble cell adhesion molecules (sICAM-1, sVCAM-1, and sE-selectin) and vascular endothelial growth factor in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

P A Klimiuk, S Sierakowski, I Domyslawska, J Chwiecko
Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology 2009, 38 (6): 439-44

OBJECTIVE: Endothelium and adhesion molecules are engaged in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This study was undertaken to analyse the effect of etanercept on the levels of soluble cell adhesion molecules (sCAMs) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in patients with active RA.

METHODS: Patients were receiving 50 mg/week of subcutaneous etanercept and 10-25 mg/week of methotrexate (MTX). Serum levels of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1), E-selectin (sE-selectin), and VEGF were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in 18 RA patients (prior to injection) at 0, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months.

RESULTS: A decrease in serum levels of sICAM-1 (p<0.001), sVCAM-1 (p<0.01), sE-selectin (p<0.01), and VEGF (p<0.001) was observed in RA patients after 3 months of treatment with etanercept. Six months of therapy with etanercept prolonged the suppression of serum sICAM-1 (p<0.01) and even more remarkably diminished sVCAM-1, sE-selectin, and VEGF (in all cases p<0.001) concentrations as compared to baseline (month 0). Treatment also effectively diminished sICAM-1, sVCAM-1, and VEGF levels at months 9 and 12 (in all cases p<0.001), and less significantly sE-selectin (p<0.05 at month 9 and p<0.01 at month 12). The Disease Activity Score including a 28-joint count (DAS28) measured at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months decreased significantly compared to baseline (in all cases p<0.001).

CONCLUSION: Our study shows that, besides a rapid suppression of disease activity, serum sCAM and VEGF concentrations are downregulated following anti-tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) therapy combined with MTX. Prolonged treatment with etanercept sustained or even more remarkably diminished the sCAM and VEGF serum concentrations.

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