Serum Pro-hepcidin Levels in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

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Abstract

Hepcidin is a principal iron regulatory hormone and its expression is stimulated by cytokines. The aim of this study was to determine serum levels of the prohormone form of hepcidin, pro-hepcidin, in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The study included 72 RA and 28 SLE patients and 33 healthy controls (HC). Serum iron status, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-6 and pro-hepcidin levels were determined. Pro-hepcidin levels in the RA group was higher than SLE and HC groups (p<0.05, p<0.001, respectively). Pro-hepcidin levels did not correlate with disease activity scores, cytokine levels and serum iron status in the RA and SLE groups, while it correlated with TNF-α, IL-6 and ferritin levels in the HC group (r=0.459, p<0.01, r=0.374, p<0.05, r=−0.603, p<0.01, respectively). Pro-hepcidin levels show extremely wide variations within the groups as do iron status and cytokines. Despite these wide variations correlation analysis do not reveal anything.

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