University of Illinois at Chicago
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Serum Acute Phase Protein and Inflammatory Cytokine Network Correlations: Comparison of a Pre-Rheumatoid Arthritis (pre-RA) and Non-RA Community Cohort

journal contribution
posted on 2013-11-22, 00:00 authored by Alfonse T. Masi, Azeem A. Rehman, Kevin B. Elmore, Jean C. Aldag
Serum concentrations of acute phase proteins, inflammatory cytokines, and other immunological components were individually assayed using high-sensitivity ELISA in a community-based cohort of preclinical rheumatoid arthritis (pre-RA) and matched non-RA control (CN) subjects. Bivariate correlations of the biomarker panel concentrations were compared in pre-RA versus CN and female versus male subjects. Clinically elevated CRP levels (8+ mg/l) occurred in a higher (p = 0.010) frequency in 46 pre-RA (n = 8, 17.4%) subjects than in 179 CN (n = 9, 5.0%), and were independent of age, gender, smoking behaviors, and serum rheumatoid factor. Selected age and gender differences were found in levels of the immunological network factors. In each study group, the ratio of sTNF-RI to IL-2sRα mean concentrations was 2-fold higher in men than in women. Aging correlated positively with CRP, ASAA, and TNF-α levels, but negatively with IL-1β. Bivariate correlations were similar in pre-RA subjects versus CN and by gender, with few exceptions. Factor loadings in principal component analysis of the total subjects indicated that age- and gender-related variables constituted the two main components. Using multiple regression analyses, an integrative working model of all variable interrelations was generated. The tentative, directional model supports a concept of gender dimorphism of the ratio of sTNF-RI to IL-2sRα serum concentrations and displays differing effects of age on TNF-α versus IL-1β levels. These findings indicate complex age, gender, and cytokine interrelations in control of the immune systems network. Future research in testing such inflammatory pathways promises a better understanding of predisposition to diseases, like RA.


grant CA 11849 from the National Cancer Institute


Publisher Statement

This is a copy of an article published in the Journal of Innate Immunity © 2012 Karger. The publication is available at




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