Blood monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) and adapted disease activity Score28-MCP-1: favorable indicators for rheumatoid arthritis activity

PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e55346. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055346. Epub 2013 Jan 30.


Objective: We assessed blood pentraxin 3 (PTX3) and macrophage chemotactic factor-1 (MCP-1) levels as indicators of disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, because data on disease activity score 28 (DAS28)-erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and DAS28-C-reactive protein (CRP) are still imperfect.

Methods: In 111 patients with RA, we examined longitudinal and cross-sectional correlations of blood PTX3, MCP-1, CRP, and ESR levels with measures of clinical arthritic activity, namely, swollen joint count (SJC), tender joint count (TJC), visual analog scale for general health (GH), DAS28, and adapted DAS28-MCP-1.

Results: Blood MCP-1, but not PTX3, was significantly correlated with SJC, TJC, DAS28, and DAS28-CRP. DAS28-MCP-1 was strongly correlated with DAS28 (r = 0.984, P<0.001) and DAS28-CRP (r = 0.971, P<0.001), and modestly correlated with CRP (r = 0.350, P<0.001), and ESR (r = 0.386, P<0.001). Similarly, the duration of arthritic symptoms, but not sex, was significantly correlated with variables of arthritic activity. In particular, DAS28-MCP-1 significantly correlated with DAS28 during a 6-month period (r = 0.944, P<0.001; r = 0.951, P<0.001; r = 0.862, P<0.001; and r = 0.865, P<0.001 for month 0, 1, 3, and 6, respectively).

Conclusion: Blood MCP-1 and adapted DAS28-MCP-1, but not blood PTX3, may be useful in monitoring RA activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / blood
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnosis*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Blood Sedimentation
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis*
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Chemokine CCL2 / blood*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Serum Amyloid P-Component / analysis*
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Biomarkers
  • Chemokine CCL2
  • Serum Amyloid P-Component
  • PTX3 protein
  • C-Reactive Protein

Grant support

This work was supported by Chang Gung Medical Foundation Research Grant (CMRPG 360171-2). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.