Adiponectin has been demonstrated to be one of anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic factors, suggesting the potential of this cytokine to be involved in the developmental process of systemic sclerosis (SSc).Objective
The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical significance of serum adiponectin levels in patients with SSc.Methods
Serum adiponectin levels were determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in 32 patients with diffuse cutaneous SSc (dcSSc), 28 with limited cutaneous SSc (lcSSc) and 27 healthy controls. No significant difference between these groups existed in terms of gender, age and body mass index.Results
Serum adiponectin levels in dcSSc patients (4.93 ± 6.48 μg/mL) were significantly lower than those in lcSSc patients (9.69 ± 7.61 μg/mL, P < 0.01) and healthy controls (9.36 ± 5.57 μg/mL, P < 0.01). dcSSc patients with disease duration of ≤5 years had significantly decreased serum adiponectin levels (2.15 ± 1.69 μg/mL) than those with disease duration of >5 years (13.29 ± 8.36 μg/mL, P < 0.01), lcSSc patients with disease duration of ≤5 years (8.07 ± 7.98μg/mL, P < 0.05), lcSSc patients with disease duration of >5 years (10.9 ± 7.34 μg/mL, P < 0.01) and healthy controls (9.36 ± 5.57 μg/mL, P < 0.01). Longitudinal studies in five patients with early dcSSc treated with oral prednisone demonstrated that serum adiponectin levels inversely correlate with the activity of progressive skin sclerosis in dcSSc patients.Conclusion
Serum levels of adiponectin may serve as a useful marker to evaluate the activity of progressive skin sclerosis in dcSSc.