Adipokines in psoriatic arthritis patients: the correlations with osteoclast precursors and bone erosions

PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e46740. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0046740. Epub 2012 Oct 29.


Significant bone remodeling with disordered osteoclastogenesis has been implicated in the pathogenesis of psoriatic arthritis (PsA). And there is a high prevalence of the metabolic syndrome (MS) in PsA patients. Adipokines, especially leptin and adiponectin, have recently been reported to be involved in the development and regulation of some autoimmune diseases. In this study, we examined the alternation of circulating osteoclastogenesis related cytokines [tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), osteoprotegerin (OPG) and receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL)] and adipokines (leptin, adiponectin, resistin, chemerin, omentin) in PsA patients, and analysed the correlations between these factors and osteoclast precursors numbers, radiographic damage scores, and disease activity index. 41 PsA patients, 20 psoriasis patients, and 24 healthy controls were recruited. Blood samples were obtained for detecting the levels of TNF-α, OPG, RANKL and the adipokines. The numbers of osteoclast precursors (OCs) in peripheral blood were assessed. Radiographs of affected joints in PsA patients were scored for erosion, joint-space narrowing, osteolysis, and new bone formation. Compared with healthy controls, patients with PsA had higher TNF-α, RANKL, OCs, leptin and omentin but lower adiponectin and chemerin. Increased serum levels of TNF-α, RANKL, leptin, and omentin were positively correlated with OCs numbers. In contrast, serum adiponectin levels were decreased in PsA patients and negatively correlated with OCs numbers. TNF-α, RANKL and leptin were positively correlated with Psoriatic Arthritis Joint Activity Index (PsAJAI). Only TNF-α was positively correlated with radiographic damage scores. Our data demonstrated that systemic expression of soluble mediators of osteoclastogenesis and adipokines were disordered in PsA. Certain adipokines were elevated in the circulation of patients with PsA and might contribute to pathogenesis of arthritis. Prospective studies will be of interest to determine the pluripotent effects of adipokines on osteoclastogenesis in chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases. Future studies may lead to novel therapeutic strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipokines / blood*
  • Adiponectin / blood
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / blood*
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / pathology
  • Bone Remodeling
  • Bone Resorption / blood*
  • Bone Resorption / pathology
  • Chemokines / blood
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Female
  • GPI-Linked Proteins / blood
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Lectins / blood
  • Leptin / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoclasts / metabolism*
  • Osteoclasts / pathology
  • Osteoprotegerin / blood
  • RANK Ligand / blood
  • Resistin / blood
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood
  • Young Adult


  • Adipokines
  • Adiponectin
  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines
  • GPI-Linked Proteins
  • ITLN1 protein, human
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Lectins
  • Leptin
  • Osteoprotegerin
  • RANK Ligand
  • RARRES2 protein, human
  • Resistin
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha

Grant support

This work was supported by Program of Shanghai Subject Chief Scientist (NO. 11XD1401100) and Phase-3 of “Project 211” (no. 211Med-XZZD03). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.