Background New bone formation plays an important role in the progression of inflammatory lesions in inflammatory rheumatic diseases. In recent literature, the question of which molecules to use for estimating new bone formation is a particularly interesting research topic. Fetuin-A and transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGFβ1) have been studied in many diseases, including metabolic, cardiovascular, and neoplastic diseases.
Objectives We investigated the serum TGFβ1 and fetuin-A levels, and determined the relationships between these biomarkers and disease activity, mobility, and radiologic progression in patients with SpA and RA.
Methods The study included 55 patients with SpA and 38 patients with RA, together with 28 healthy subjects. In AS patients, we assessed disease activity using the Bath AS disease activity index (BASDAI), functional ability using the Bath AS functional index (BASFI), and mobility using the Bath AS metrology index (BASMI), radiologic progression using the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Radiology Index (BASRI). Serum feutin-A and TGFβ1 were determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) equipment
Results Fetuin-A was significantly higher in the axial SpA and RA groups than in healthy subjects (p<0.01). Serum TGFβ1 and fetuin-A levels were similar in the peripheral SpA group and in healthy subjects. A significant positive correlation was found between the fetuin-A and TGFβ1 levels in the axial SpA, peripheral SpA, and RA groups (r =0.293, p=0.009; r =0.215, p=0.04; r =0.223, p=0.05, respectively). Significant correlations were found between fetuin-A and the BASMI and BASRI values in the axial SpA patients (r =0.244, p=0.031; r =0.416, p<0.001, respectively). There were no correlations of TGFβ1 or fetuin-A levels with CRP, ESR, or all of the clinical parameters in the peripheral SpA and RA patients (p>0.05).
Conclusions In conclusion, high levels of fetuin-A and TGFβ1 in patients with axial SpA indicate that fetuin-A could be used as a marker for bone proliferation. We hypothesize that fetuin-A may be one of the possible active steps in new bone formation. The data obtained in the present study will contribute to identifying differences between RA and SpA, and in clarifying the disease process, thereby helping to identify specific therapeutic targets.
Disclosure of Interest None declared