Objective: To assess markers of neutrophil activation such as calprotectin and N-formyl methionine (fMET) in anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody-associated vasculitis (AAV) and large-vessel vasculitis (LVV).
Methods: Levels of fMET, and calprotectin, were measured in the plasma of healthy controls (n=30) and patients with AAV (granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA, n=123), microscopic polyangiitis (MPA, n=61)), and LVV (Takayasu's arteritis (TAK, n=58), giant cell arteritis (GCA, n=68)), at times of remission or flare. Disease activity was assessed by physician global assessment. In vitro neutrophil activation assays were performed in the presence or absence of formyl peptide receptor 1 (FPR1) inhibitor cyclosporine H.
Results: Levels of calprotectin, and fMET were elevated in patients with vasculitis as compared to healthy individuals. Levels of fMET correlated with markers of systemic inflammation: C-reactive protein (r=0.82, p<0.0001), and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (r=0.235, p<0.0001). The neutrophil activation marker, calprotectin was not associated with disease activity. Circulating levels of fMET were associated with neutrophil activation (p<0.01) and were able to induce de novo neutrophil activation via FPR1-mediated signaling.
Conclusion: Circulating fMET appears to propagate neutrophil activation in AAV and LVV. Inhibition of fMET-mediated FPR1 signaling could be a novel therapeutic intervention for systemic vasculitides.
Keywords: Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis; Formyl peptide receptor 1; Large-vessel vasculitis; Mitochondria; Neutrophils.
© 2022. The Author(s).