Article Text

AB0229 Does expression level of vip and its receptors correlated with disease severity in early arthritis?
  1. A Seoane IV1,
  2. A Lamana2,
  3. M Carriόn1,
  4. Y Juarranz1,
  5. R García-Vicuña2,
  6. I González-Άlvaro2,
  7. C Martínez3,
  8. RP Gomariz1
  1. 1Dpto. Biología Celular, Facultad de Biología, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
  2. 2Rheumatology Service, Hospital Universitario de la Princesa, Instituto de Investigaciόn Sanitaria Princesa
  3. 3Dpto. Biología Celular, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain


Background Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a heterogeneous disease, not only in the course but also in the response to treatment (1). So, a major challenge is the classification of patients according to the disease severity/mildness to apply customized therapeutic strategies. Low vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) serum levels are associated to a worse clinical course in Early Arthritis (EA) (2) and the expression of its receptor VPAC1 is associated with disease activity (3).

Objectives To identify in an Early Arthritis cohort associations between clinical parameters of severity and serum VIP levels or expression of their receptors VPAC1 and VPAC2.

Methods We studied 212 patients from the PEARL (Princesa Early Arthritis Registry Longitudinal) study. Follow-up includes five visits (0, 6, 12, 24 and 60 months) in which we collect demographic, clinical, laboratory, therapeutic and radiological data, as well as biological samples. Since there is not a global disease severity variable for RA, we stratified severity as follows: A) remission after two years of follow-up defined as SDAI <3.3 (4). B) Global Disease Assessment by Physician >75th percentile of the population (severe disease) or >25th percentile (mild disease). C) Median value in our population of the Δ erosion score (SvdH method assessed in hands) after two years of follow-up. VIP levels were determined by enzyme immunoassay and mRNA expression levels of VIP receptors in PBMCs by real-time PCR. To analyze the association between severity/mildness and the expression of VIP/VPAC we use several parametric and non-parametric hypothesis testing (t-test, ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis) using Stata 12 for Windows (StataCorp PL, College Station, TX, USA).

Results We observed a trend towards higher baseline VIP serum levels in patients who reached remission in terms of SDAI (p=0.1169). Patients no achieving remission showed lower VPAC1 expression (p=0.0494). Severe patients defined by GDAPh displayed a clear trend to lower VIP levels (p=0.081). Those patients also exhibited significant lower VPAC1 expression levels (p=0.0276). Concerning bone erosion score, we did not observe a significant association with VIP levels; interestingly we found that those patients classified as “severe” by erosion score displayed lower VPAC1 expression levels (p=0.0722) and higher levels of VPAC2 (p=0.0253).

Conclusions VIP serum levels and VPAC1 and 2 receptors expression are associated with a more severe phenotype in EA patients stratified by SDAI, GDAPh and bone erosion.


  1. Firestein GS. Nature. 2003;423(6937):356–61.

  2. Martínez C, Ortiz AM, Juarranz Y, et al. PloS one. 2014;9(1):e85248.

  3. Seoane IV, Ortiz AM, Piris L, et al. PloS one. 2016;11(2):e0149141.

  4. Aletaha D, Smolen J. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2005;23(5 Suppl 39):S100–8.


Acknowledgements This work has been supported by Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Spain, cofinanced by FEDER, European Union: RETICS program, Red de Investigaciόn en Inflamaciόn y Enfermedades Reumáticas (RD16/0012/0008 (RPG) and RD16/0012/0011 (IGA) and the projects PI12/00758 (RPG), PI14/00477 (CMM) and PI14/00442 (IGA).

Disclosure of Interest None declared

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.