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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2013, Article ID 510243, 10 pages
Research Article

Marked Independent Relationship between Circulating Interleukin-6 Concentrations and Endothelial Activation in Rheumatoid Arthritis

1Cardiovascular Pathophysiology and Genomics Research Unit, School of Physiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, P.O. Box 1012 Johannesburg, Melville 2109, South Africa
2Department of Rheumatology, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
3Milpark Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa
4Department of Rheumatology, Hospital Universitario Marques de Valdecilla, IFIMAV, Avenida de Valdecilla s/n, 39008 Santander, Spain

Received 17 June 2013; Revised 10 November 2013; Accepted 11 November 2013

Academic Editor: Teresa Zelante

Copyright © 2013 Patrick H. Dessein et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We examined the potential impact of conventional compared with nonconventional cardiovascular risk factors including interleukin-6 levels on endothelial activation in RA. Circulating soluble E-selectin, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 concentrations were measured in 217 African patients (112 black and 105 white) with RA. In comprehensive confounder adjusted mixed regression models, 5 conventional and 4 nonconventional cardiovascular risk factors were associated ( to <0.0001) with endothelial activation. Interleukin-6 was the only risk factor related to each endothelial activation molecule and independently contributed by 18% and significantly more than other risk factors to the variation in overall endothelial activation as estimated by an SD (z) score of endothelial activation molecule concentrations. The independent interleukin-6-overall endothelial activation relationships were reproduced in various subgroups. Interleukin-6 concentrations relate consistently, markedly, and to a larger extent than other cardiovascular risk factors to endothelial activation in RA. Assessment of interleukin-6 concentrations may enhance cardiovascular risk stratification in RA.