Osteopontin Is Associated with Increased Arterial Stiffness in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Laura Bazzichi, Lorenzo Ghiadoni, Alessandra Rossi, Melania Bernardini, Mario Lanza, Francesca De Feo, Camillo Giacomelli, Ilaria Mencaroni, Katia Raimo, Marco Rossi, Anna Maria Mazzone, Stefano Taddei, and Stefano Bombardieri
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) - a chronic, progressive inflammatory disease – suffer shorter lifespans and are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease due, in part, to increased incidence of atherosclerosis. Bazzichi and colleagues explore whether osteopontin, a protein implicated in the pathogenesis of RA and a potent inhibitor of vascular calcification, could form a bridge between these related but distinct disease forms. The authors employed pulse wave velocity (PWV) to measure arterial stiffness in RA patients and compared these values against patients with systemic sclerosis and healthy individuals. This study reports that osteopontin levels are significantly greater in RA patients versus the control groups, suggesting a connection between the actions of this protein and the onset of atherosclerosis. A deeper understanding of RA complications, such as atherosclerosis, may ultimately lead to better treatments and perhaps prevention of this chronic illness.

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Posted by MolMed Editor on Nov 5, 2009 12:00 AM CST