Associations between circulating endostatin levels and vascular organ damage in systemic sclerosis and mixed connective tissue disease: an observational study
AuthorReiseter, Silje; Molberg, Øyvind; Gunnarsson, Ragnar; Lund, May Brit; Aaløkken, Trond Mogens; Aukrust, Pål; Ueland, Thor; Garen, Torhild; Brunborg, Cathrine; Michelsen, Annika; Abraityte, Aurelija; Hoffmann-Vold, Anna-Maria
Introduction: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) and mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) are chronic immune-mediated disorders complicated by vascular organ damage. The aim of this study was to examine the serum levels of the markers of neoangiogenesis: endostatin and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), in our unselected cohorts of SSc and MCTD. Methods: Sera of SSc patients (N = 298) and MCTD patients (N = 162) from two longitudinal Norwegian cohorts were included. Blood donors were included as controls (N = 100). Circulating VEGF and endostatin were analyzed by enzyme immunoassay. Results: Mean endostatin levels were increased in SSc patients 93.7 (37) ng/ml (P < .001) and MCTD patients 83.2 (25) ng/ml (P < .001) compared to controls 65.1 (12) ng/ml. Median VEGF levels were elevated in SSc patients 209.0 (202) pg/ml compared to MCTD patients 181.3 (175) pg/ml (P = .017) and controls 150.0 (145) pg/ml (P < .001). Multivariable analysis of SSc subsets showed that pulmonary arterial hypertension (coefficient 15.7, 95 % CI: 2.2–29.2, P = .023) and scleroderma renal crisis (coefficient 77.6, 95 % CI: 59.3–100.0, P < .001) were associated with elevated endostatin levels. Multivariable analyses of MCTD subsets showed that digital ulcers were associated with elevated endostatin levels (coefficient 10.5, 95 % CI: 3.2–17.8, P = .005). The risk of death increased by 1.6 per SD endostatin increase (95 % CI: 1.2–2.1, P = .001) in the SSc cohort and by 1.6 per SD endostatin increase (95 % CI: 1.0–2.4, P = .041) in the MCTD cohort after adjustments to known risk factors. Conclusions: Endostatin levels were elevated in patients with SSc and MCTD, particularly SSc patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension and scleroderma renal crisis, and MCTD patients with digital ulcers. Elevated endostatin levels were also associated with increased all-cause mortality during follow-up in both groups of patients. We propose that endostatin might indicate the degree of vascular injury in SSc and MCTD patients.
CitationArthritis Research & Therapy (2015) 17:231
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