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Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2018 Feb;70(2):175-184. doi: 10.1002/acr.23253. Epub 2018 Jan 5.

Adipose Tissue Macrophages in Rheumatoid Arthritis: Prevalence, Disease-Related Indicators, and Associations With Cardiometabolic Risk Factors.

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1
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Adipose tissue macrophages (ATMs) are a potent source of inflammatory cytokines, with profound effects on adipose tissue function, yet their potential role in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) pathobiology is largely unstudied.

METHODS:

Periumbilical subcutaneous adipose tissue was obtained from 36 RA patients and 22 non-RA controls frequency matched on demographics and body mass index. Samples were stained for the macrophage marker CD68, and the average proportions of ATMs, crown-like structures (periadipocyte aggregates of 3 or more ATMs), and fibrosis were compared between groups.

RESULTS:

The adjusted proportion of ATMs among all nucleated cells was 76% higher in RA than in non-RA samples (37.7 versus 21.3%, respectively; P < 0.001), and the adjusted average number of crown-like structures was more than 1.5-fold higher in the RA group than in controls (0.58 versus 0.23 crown-like structure/high-power field, respectively; P = 0.001). ATMs were significantly more abundant in early RA and in those with anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide seropositivity. Users of methotrexate, leflunomide, and tumor necrosis factor inhibitors had a significantly lower proportion of ATMs compared with nonusers. Crown-like structures were significantly higher in patients with rheumatoid factor seropositivity and in those with C-reactive protein levels ≥10 mg/liter, and significantly lower among those treated with statins. Linear ATMs were significantly associated with whole-body insulin resistance, but not with serum lipids.

CONCLUSIONS:

ATMs and crown-like structures were more abundant in RA patients and were associated with systemic inflammation, autoimmunity, and whole-body insulin resistance, suggesting possible contributions to the RA disease process. Lower levels of ATMs and crown-like structures associated with specific RA treatments suggest that adipose tissue inflammation may be ameliorated by immunomodulation.

PMID:
28388816
DOI:
10.1002/acr.23253
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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