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Scand J Rheumatol. 2007 Sep-Oct;36(5):345-50.

Soluble cell adhesion molecules (sICAM-1, sVCAM-1, and sE-selectin) in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis.

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Department of Rheumatology and Internal Diseases, Medical University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland.



The aim of the study was to analyse serum concentrations of soluble cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) before and after 6 months of treatment with methotrexate (MTX).


We studied 32 RA patients, untreated with disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) or corticosteroids, with disease duration less than 3 years. Twenty osteoarthritis (OA) patients constituted the control group. The analysis of serum levels of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1), and E-selectin (sE-selectin) was based on a quantitative sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).


In comparison with OA patients, higher serum concentrations of sICAM-1 (p<0.01), sVCAM-1 (p<0.01), and sE-selectin (p<0.05) were observed in untreated patients with early RA. Six months of treatment with MTX down-regulated serum concentrations of sICAM-1, sVCAM-1, and sE-selectin (in all cases p<0.001) in the RA patients studied. MTX treatment was also followed by a decrease in the clinical markers of RA activity, such as the number of painful and swollen joints, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), disease activity score (DAS), and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels.


Patients with early RA are characterized by high serum concentrations of sICAM-1, sVCAM-1, and sE-selectin. Therapy with MTX resulted in clinical improvement and diminished serum levels of soluble CAMs in the RA patients studied, confirming the effectiveness of MTX in early stages of the disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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