Background: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic, progressive and fatal pulmonary fibrotic disease and useful biomarkers are required to diagnose and predict disease activity. CCN2 (connective tissue growth factor; CTGF) has been reported as one of the key profibrotic factors associated with transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), and its assay has potential as a non-invasive measure in various fibrotic diseases. Recently, we developed a new subtraction method for determination of plasma CCN2 levels. We examined the utility of plasma CCN2 levels as a surrogate marker in IPF.
Methods: Plasma CCN2 levels were calculated in 33 patients with IPF, 14 patients with non-IPF idiopathic interstitial pneumonias (IIPs) and 101 healthy volunteers by sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using specific monoclonal antibodies for two distinct epitopes of human CCN2. We evaluated the utility of plasma CCN2 levels by comparison with clinical parameters.
Results: Plasma CCN2 levels were significantly higher in patients with IPF than in those with non-IPF IIPs and healthy volunteers. Importantly, plasma CCN2 levels showed significantly negative correlation with 6-month change of forced vital capacity (FVC) in patients with IPF.
Conclusions: Plasma CCN2 is a potential biomarker for IPF.
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