Objectives Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) patients show alterations in cholesterol and lypoproteins levels. These disturbances seem to be related to the inflammation that takes place in the disease, but the pathological mechanisms that leed to it are unknown. Cholesterol ester transfer protein (CETP) is an enzyme that allows transference of cholesterol ester from HDL to LDL-cholesterol particles. CETP has recently gained interest as therapeutic goal of new treatments developed to treat dyslipidemia. The aim of this study is to describe the role of this enzyme in a model of chronic inflammation associated dyslipidemia as it occurs in rheumatoid arthritis.
Methods 101 RA patients and 115 sex and age-matched controls were included. Serum levels of CEPT were measured by an enzimelinked inmunoassay and the enzymatic activity by a specific kit (Roar CEPT activity assay kit). In both patients and controls classical lipidic profile (cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL and LDL cholesterol, apolipoprotein A1, apolipoprotein B and lipoprotein A) was defined. Also ESR and CRP were determined. In RA patients disease activity indexes like DAS28 and HAQ were collected, as well as, sociodemographic variables, comorbidility and anthropometric variables. Multivariate analysis was performed to compare results between patients and controls adjusting for corticosteroids intake and for classical dyslipidemia risk factors.
Results Serum protein levels were correlated with the enzimatic activity (r=0,5, p=0,00), showing that serum levels could be enough to express the activity of this enzime. Patients show lower CETP activity levels after adjusting for sex and age (beta coefficient -0,52 pmol/l, CI95% -0,87–0,18, p=0,01). In patients, CRP levels show a negative correlation with CETP activity (r=-0.34, p=0,03); in controls this correlation did not achieve the stadistic significance. Disease activity scores like DAS28 did not show association with CETP.
Conclusions CETP is underexpressed in RA patients. Differencial characteristics of dyslipIdemia in RA could be partly explained by this fact.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared