Serum pro-hepcidin could reflect disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Research paper by Hae-Rim HR Kim, Kyoung-Woon KW Kim, So-Young SY Yoon, Sang-Hyon SH Kim, Sang-Heon SH Lee

Indexed on: 02 Mar '10Published on: 02 Mar '10Published in: Journal of Korean medical science


The aim of this study was to analyze the relationship between serum pro-hepcidin concentration and the anemia profiles of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and to estimate the pro-hepcidin could reflect the disease activity of RA. RA disease activities were measured using Disease Activity Score 28 (DAS28), tender/swollen joint counts, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and C-reactive protein (CRP). Anemia profiles such as hemoglobin, iron, total iron binding capacity (TIBC), ferritin, and transferrin levels were measured. Serum concentration of pro-hepcidin, the prohormone of hepcidin, was measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Mean concentration of serum pro-hepcidin was 237.6+/-67.9 ng/mL in 40 RA patients. The pro-hepcidin concentration was correlated with rheumatoid factor, CRP, ESR, and DAS28. There was a significant correlation between pro-hepcidin with tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, interleukin (IL)-1beta, and IL-6. The pro-hepcidin concentration was significantly higher in the patients with active RA (DAS28>5.1) than those with inactive to moderate RA (DAS28< or =5.1). However, the pro-hepcidin concentration did not correlate with the anemia profiles except hemoglobin level. There was no difference of pro-hepcidin concentration between the patients with anemia of chronic disease and those without. In conclusion, serum concentration of pro-hepcidin reflects the disease activity, regardless of the anemia states in RA patients, thus it may be another potential marker for disease activity of RA.