Objective: Chronic systemic inflammation plays a pivotal role in the development of atherosclerosis in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In the present study, we investigated whether anti-TNF-alpha antagonist-monoclonal antibody-infliximab administration alters circulating levels of resistin, a proinflammatory adipokine. We further assessed associations of circulating resistin concentrations with CRP and ESR levels, platelet counts and metabolic syndrome and demographic characteristics in RA patients on periodical treatment with infliximab.
Methods: We investigated 33 patients with RA on periodical treatment with infliximab. Serum resistin levels were determined immediately prior to and after infliximab infusion.
Results: Upon infliximab administration, mean (SD) serum resistin concentrations (ng/ml) decreased from 21.9 (9.9) to 17.4 (8.9) (p=0.005). Also, a significant association between the mean ESR (r=0.405; p=0.03) and CRP (r=0.571; p=0.0005) from disease diagnosis and ESR (r=0.486; p=0.004), CRP (r=0.599; p=0.0005) and platelet count (r=0.559; p=0.0007) at the time of the study and baseline resistin levels was found.
Conclusion: The present study shows that anti-TNF-alpha therapy results in a rapid reduction of serum resistin levels in patients with RA. It also confirms a close association between laboratory markers of inflammation, particularly CRP and resistin levels. These observations support a potential role of resistin in the inflammatory cascade in RA.