Indexed on: 26 Oct '02Published on: 26 Oct '02Published in: Zeitschrift fur Rheumatologie
Macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha (MIP-1alpha) is an interesting chemokine because in addition to its variety proinflammatory activities including chemotaxis and immunomodulation, it is a potent inhibitor of hematopoetic stem cell proliferation. Inhibition of erythroid progenitor cells due to MIP-1alpha or other cytokines can play a role in the pathogenesis of anemia which is one of the most common extra-articular features of active rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In 84 patients with RA, serological and immunological parameters were assessed to detect inflammatory mechanisms and anemia in relation to the serum concentrations of MIP-1alpha. All patients fulfilled the ACR criteria for the diagnosis of a definite or classic RA. We used a quantitative enzyme immuno assay for the detection of MIP-1alpha as well as for the measurement of the acute phase protein serum amyloid A (SAA), the erythropoiesis inducer erythropoietin (EPO) and the transferrin receptor (TfR). The immune activation marker neopterin was measured radioimmunologically. Half of the patients with RA were anemic with hemoglobin values below 12 g/dl. MIP-1alpha was found to be elevated significantly in serum of patients with active rheumatoid arthritis and in patients with anemia. Most of the anemic patients with markedly elevated acute phase reactions had an anemia with chronic diseases and not a functional iron deficiency alone. TfR correlated with EPO. The results show that enhanced expression of MIP-1alpha is indicative of systemic inflammation in RA. Moreover, besides the regulation of inflammatory processes, this chemokine may influence the pathogenesis of anemia in RA patients.