Background The cartilage destruction in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is also influenced by the actions of matrix metalloproteinase enzymes (MMPs) released by synovial cells in response to IL-1, TNF-α, epidermal growth factor and platelet derived growth factor. MMPs are a family of endoproteases, they participate in the maintenance and remodeling of extracellular matrix (ECM). They play a central role not only in many physiological processes, but also in many diseases. Elevated expression of their activity is implicated for example in arthritis, cancer metastasis, skeletal growth-plate disorders, tissue ulceration etc. MMP-3 is thought to play a pivotal role in joint destruction in RA. Following the inflammation of synovial tissue MMP-3 expression and secretion into synovial fluid is increased. The amount of MMP-3 in serum correlates with concentration in the synovial fluid. High levels of serum MMP-3 can be predictive of destructive processes in the joints even in an early state of disease. Measurement of MMP-3 is suitable for control of disease activity in RA patients.
Objectives MMP-3 is thought to be involved in the pathogenesis of RA as it degrades a range of matrix proteins found in connective tissue in the synovial joint. This study aimed to evaluate the values of MMP-3 in serum of patients with RA, in patients with other diagnoses and in healthy controls. We compared the concentration of MMP-3 with other laboratory parameters routinely used to assess disease status, clinical score (DAS28) and radiographic stage of disease in the group of RA patients.
Methods We examined 92 patients with RA, 24 patients without RA and 26 healthy subjects. The concentration of MMP-3 was measured in serum by ELISA method using commercial kit AESKULISA DF MMP3. Differences between the three groups were analyzed by the Mann-Whitney test. Correlations were sought using Spearman's correlation analysis.
Results The differences in serum concentration of MMP-3 were statistically significant between RA and controls (p<0.0001), RA and non-RA groups (p=0,008) as well as between non-RA and controls (p=0,009). The MMP-3 concentrations were compared further with other laboratory parameters and clinical and X-rays data. Spearman'correlation analysis shows correlation between MMP-3 and CRP (r=0.304, p<0.01), DAS 28 (r=0.301, p<0.05), anti CCP antibodies (r=0.251, p<0.01), FW (r=0.208, p<0.01), and X-ray stage (r=0.211, p<0.01). No correlation was found between values of MMP-3 and rheumatoid factor (RF).
Conclusions Our data confirmed that patients with RA have increased level of MMP-3 compared to healthy controls. The concentration of MMP-3 correlated with DAS 28, CRP, anti CCP, ESR and X-ray stage. These findings support the notice that MMP-3 plays an important role in pathology of RA. In conjunction with available laboratory methods and clinical examinations it can be a useful marker for joint destruction prediction.
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Houseman M et al. Arthritis Research & Therapy 2012; 14:R30
Acknowledgements Supported by IGA UP LF_2014_010
Disclosure of Interest None declared