Objective: Resistin is an adipocytokine related to insulin resistance and inflammation. We investigated whether resistin is associated with disease activity and inflammation in disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD)-naïve rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, whether it has predictive value for radiological disease progression, and whether tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) is involved in these effects. Method: Ninety-nine patients with early, DMARD-naïve RA participated in the NEO-RACo study. Patients were treated for the first 4 weeks with a combination of methotrexate, sulfasalazine, hydroxychloroquine, and prednisolone (FIN-RACo treatment). Thereafter, they were randomized to receive either infliximab or placebo added to the combination for 6 months. Patients were followed for 5 years. Disease activity was evaluated using the Disease Activity Score based on 28-joint count–erythrocyte sedimentation rate, radiographs were scored with the modified Sharp–van der Heijde method, and plasma resistin concentrations were measured by immunoassay. Human THP-1 macrophages were used in the in vitro studies. Results: A high resistin level at baseline was associated with active inflammatory disease and predicted more rapid radiological progression during 5 year follow-up. Adding infliximab to the DMARD combination delayed radiological progression and overcame the poor predictive value of resistin. Resistin increased TNF-α production in human macrophages, indicating a possible connection between resistin and TNF-α. Conclusion: The results suggest that high resistin concentration may be a useful marker to distinguish patients with an increased risk of erosive disease in early active RA, and that adding TNF-α antagonist to the traditional DMARD combination may delay radiological progression of the disease in these patients. The study has been registered at https://www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT00908089).
|Journal||Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 15 Jul 2021|
|Publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|
Publication forum classification
- Publication forum level 1
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy