Arthritis research & therapy 2017 09 2119(1) 210 doi 10.1186/s13075-017-1417-7
A recent systematic review identified four candidate serum-soluble bone-turnover biomarkers (dickkopf-1, Dkk-1; macrophage-colony stimulating factor, M-CSF; matrix metalloproteinase-3, MMP-3; osteoprotegerin, OPG) showing possible association with psoriatic arthritis (PsA). We aimed to: (i) confirm and determine if these four biomarkers are associated with PsA; (ii) differentiate psoriasis cases with and without arthritis; and (iii) differentiate PsA cases with and without axial arthritis.
A prospective cross-sectional comparative two-centre study recruited 200 patients with psoriasis without arthritis (PsC), 127 with PsA without axial arthritis (pPsA), 117 with PsA with axial arthritis (psoriatic spondyloarthritis, PsSpA), 157 with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) without psoriasis, and 50 matched healthy controls (HC). Serum biomarker concentrations were measured using ELISA. Multivariable regression and receiver operating characteristic analyses were performed.
MMP-3 concentrations were significantly higher and M-CSF significantly lower in each arthritis disease group compared with HC (p ≤ 0.02). MMP-3 concentrations were significantly higher (adjusted odds ratio, ORadj 1.02 per ng/ml increase in concentration; p = 0.0004) and M-CSF significantly lower (ORadj 0.44 per ng/ml increase; p = 0.01) in PsA (pPsA and PsSpA combined) compared with PsC. Dkk-1 concentrations were significantly higher (ORadj 1.22 per ng/mL increase; p = 0.01), and OPG concentrations significantly lower (ORadj 0.20 per ng/mL increase; p = 0.02) in patients with axial arthritis (PsSpA and AS combined) than in those without (pPsA). Furthermore, Dkk-1 concentrations were significantly higher along a spectrum of increasing axial arthritis; Dkk-1 concentrations were higher in AS compared with PsSpA (ORadj 1.18 per ng/mL increase; p = 0.02). Receiver operating characteristic analysis showed MMP-3 to be the best single biomarker for differentiating PsA from PsC (AUC 0.70 for a cut-off of 14.51 ng/mL; sensitivity 0.76, specificity 0.60).
MMP-3 and M-CSF are biomarkers for the presence of arthritis in psoriatic disease, and could therefore be used to screen for PsA in psoriasis cohorts. Dkk-1 and OPG are biomarkers of axial arthritis; they could therefore be used to screen for the presence of axial disease in PsA cases, and help differentiate PsSpA from AS. High concentrations of Dkk-1 in AS and PsSpA compared with HC, support previous reports that Dkk-1 is dysfunctional in the spondyloarthritides.