Adipokines are regulatory molecules which act as mediators of the inflammatory, fibrotic and metabolic processes by interacting with the immune system.
We hypothesized that chemerin and visfatin by pro-inflammatory properties play a significant role in inflammation in systemic sclerosis. To address this hypothesis, we determined serum chemerin and visfatin levels in SSc patients, compared with the control group and defined the correlations with clinical and laboratory parameters in SSc patients.
The study included 48 Caucasian female patients with SSc and 38 healthy subjects of the control group. Serum concentrations of selected adipokines were measured using commercially available ELISA Kits.
Patients with SSc had higher chemerin levels (209.38 ±55.35 ng/ml) than the control group (182.71 ±33.94 ng/ml) and the difference was statistically significant ( Z = 2.14, p = 0.032). The highest chemerin levels were found in dcSSc patients (242.46 ±95.82 ng/ml). We indicated a positive correlation of chemerin and visfatin with levels of inflammatory markers: CRP ( r = 0.35, p = 0.013 for chemerin; r = 0.41, p = 0.003 for visfatin) and ESR ( r = 0.31, p = 0.03 for chemerin; r = 0.30, p = 0.03 for visfatin). What is more, chemerin manifested a statistically significant positive correlation with the concentration of complement component C3 ( r = 0.47, p = 0.001) and C4 ( r = 0.29, p = 0.049), whereas visfatin correlated with C4 levels ( r = 0.32, p = 0.029).
The results of our study indicate that chemerin and visfatin as pro-inflammatory cytokines might represent new markers corresponding with inflammation in systemic sclerosis and might reflect the bridge between metabolism, inflammation and potentially, chemerin may also link inflammation with skin and lung fibrosis.