Background Vitronectin, one of the integrin αvβ3 ligands, is a multifunctional glycoprotein that is present in blood and in the extracellular matrix. Decreased levels of vitronectin have been reported in patients with meningococcal disease, rheumatoid arthritis and Behçet's disease.
Objectives The aim of the present study was to evaluate serum vitronectin level in systemic sclerosis (SSc) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Methods 86 patients with SSc and 46 patients with SLE and 38 healthy volunteers (HC) were included in the study. Serum IL-6, TGF-β and vitronectin levels were analyzed by ELISA method.
Results The level of vitronectin was lower in the SSc group compared to the SLE and HC groups (p<0.001 for both), while its level was similar in the SLE and HC groups (Table). Although vitronectin level was not different between the diffuse and limited cutaneous subtypes of SSc (p=0.390), its level was negatively correlated with modified Rodnan skin score (r=-0.256, p=0.016). Serum vitronectin level was negatively correlated with visual analogue scales (physician and patient), lung-Medsger and heart-Medsger scores, too (r=-0.450, p<0.001; r=-0.321, p=0.003; r=-0.319, p=0.003 and r=-0.245, p=0.023, respectively). Sex, the positivity of anti-sentromer and anti-Scl-70 antibodies, and the presences of pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary arterial hypertension and digital ulcer were not altering the serum vitronectin level.
Conclusions Serum vitronectin level decreases in SSc in contrast to SLE. Fibrosis is the main difference of SSc from SLE. Therefore, it may be concluded that the one cause of decreased serum vitronectin level in SSc may be fibrogenesis. It has been demonstrated previously that vitronectin accumulates in fibrotic area in an experimental model of renal fibrosis. Moreover, the negative correlation between serum vitronectin level and modified Rodnan skin score support this conclusion.
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Disclosure of Interest None declared