Background: Identification of serum proteins that track with disease course in sarcoidosis may have clinical and pathologic importance. We previously identified up-regulated transcripts for interferon-inducible chemokines CXCL9, and CXCL10, in blood of sarcoidosis patients compared to controls. The objective of this study was to determine whether proteins encoded by these transcripts were elevated in serum and identified patients with remitting vs. chronic progressive sarcoidosis longitudinally.
Methods: Serum levels of CXCL9, CXCL10, and proteins associated with inflammation and/or disease activity (sIL2R, ACE, ESR and CRP) were measured in a prospective cohort of sarcoidosis subjects and controls. Comparisons were made between groups and clinical course using pulmonary function measures and a severity score developed by Wasfi et al.
Results: In a cross-sectional analysis of 36 non-immunosuppressed sarcoidosis subjects, serum CXCL9, CXCL10, and sIL2R were significantly elevated compared to 46 controls (p < 0.0001). CXCL9 and CXCL10 were strongly inter-correlated (p = 0.0009). CXCL10 and CXCL9 were inversely correlated with FVC% predicted and DLCO% predicted, respectively. CXCL10 and CXCL9 significantly correlated with sarcoidosis severity score. sIL2R, ESR, CRP, and ACE serum levels did not correlate with pulmonary function measures or severity score. In the longitudinal analysis of 26 subjects, changes in serum CXCL10 level over time corresponded with progression versus remission of disease.
Conclusions: Interferon-γ-inducible chemokines, CXCL9 and CXCL10, are elevated in sarcoidosis and inter-correlated with each other. Chemokine levels correlated with measures of disease severity. Serial measurements of CXCL10 corresponded to clinical course.