Clinical Utility of YKL-40 in Polymyositis/dermatomyositis-associated Interstitial Lung Disease

Hironao Hozumi, Tomoyuki Fujisawa, Noriyuki Enomoto, Ran Nakashima, Yasunori Enomoto, Yuzo Suzuki, Masato Kono, Masato Karayama, Kazuki Furuhashi, Akihiro Murakami, Naoki Inui, Yutaro Nakamura, Tsuneyo Mimori, Takafumi Suda
Journal of Rheumatology 2017, 44 (9): 1394-1401

OBJECTIVE: Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is involved in polymyositis/dermatomyositis (PM/DM), a disease associated with poor prognoses. Chitinase-3-like-1 protein (YKL-40) has pleiotropic biological activities involved in inflammation, cell proliferation, and tissue remodeling; however, the clinical application of YKL-40 remains limited. We investigated the clinical significance of YKL-40 in PM/DM-ILD.

METHODS: Sixty-nine consecutive patients with PM/DM-ILD and 34 healthy controls were analyzed. We measured baseline and followup serum YKL-40 using an ELISA, evaluated the association of YKL-40 with clinical variables and survival, and examined YKL-40 expression in lung specimens from patients with PM/DM-ILD using immunohistochemistry.

RESULTS: Serum YKL-40 levels were significantly greater in patients with PM/DM-ILD compared with healthy controls (p < 0.0001). Serum YKL-40 was correlated with arterial oxygen pressure (r = -0.40, p < 0.001) and percent-predicted DLCO (r = -0.41, p = 0.01) in patients with PM/DM-ILD. Multivariate Cox hazard analysis demonstrated that higher serum YKL-40 and lower percent-predicted forced vital capacity were independently associated with a poor prognosis. Immunohistochemistry analysis demonstrated that YKL-40 expression was enhanced in aggregated intraalveolar macrophages and hyperproliferative alveolar epithelial cells in patients with PM/DM-ILD.

CONCLUSION: YKL-40 is a promising biomarker for evaluating PM/DM-ILD activity/severity and predicting disease prognosis. Insights into YKL-40 might help elucidate the pathogenesis of PM/DM-ILD.


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