Relations of serum COMP to cardiovascular risk factors and endothelial function in patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated with methotrexate and TNF-α inhibitors

J Rheumatol. 2012 Jul;39(7):1341-7. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.111401. Epub 2012 Jun 1.


Objective: To examine whether serum level of cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (S-COMP) is related to methotrexate (MTX) or to MTX and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) combination treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA); and to investigate whether S-COMP is related to cardiovascular risk factors including endothelial dysfunction and level of anticitrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA) in patients with RA.

Methods: Clinical and laboratory measures, including S-COMP and reactive hyperemic index (RHI), were examined in 55 consecutive patients with RA starting with either MTX (n = 34) or MTX and anti-TNF-α treatment (n = 21) at baseline, and after 6 weeks and 6 months.

Results: S-COMP was similar in the 2 treatment regimens during followup. We found a positive relationship between S-COMP at baseline and the use of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs the last year preceding the study (p = 0.001), and a negative relation to current use of systemic glucocorticosteroids (p = 0.044). The nonsignificant change in S-COMP between baseline and the 6-month followup was positively and independently related to change in ACPA level (p = 0.009). There was no significant association between RHI and level of S-COMP at baseline.

Conclusion: The cartilage turnover marker S-COMP did not change significantly after 6 months' treatment with MTX with or without a TNF-α inhibitor in patients with RA. The positive association between S-COMP and ACPA suggests that these factors might interact, and could both be contributors to an unknown link between inflammation and cartilage destruction in patients with RA. S-COMP was not related to endothelial function in patients with RA, or to other cardiovascular risk factors studied. Clinical Trials registration number NCT00902005.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Cartilage Oligomeric Matrix Protein
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects*
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / blood*
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Glycoproteins / blood*
  • Humans
  • Hyperemia / blood
  • Hyperemia / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Matrilin Proteins
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors*


  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Cartilage Oligomeric Matrix Protein
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Glycoproteins
  • Matrilin Proteins
  • TSP5 protein, human
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Methotrexate

Associated data