Open Access Open Badges Research article

Decreases in serum levels of S100A8/9 (calprotectin) correlate with improvements in total swollen joint count in patients with recent-onset rheumatoid arthritis

Lucie Andrés Cerezo1, Heřman Mann1, Ondřej Pecha2, Lenka Pleštilová1, Karel Pavelka1, Jiří Vencovský1 and Ladislav Šenolt1*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Rheumatology, First Medical Faculty, Charles University, Na Slupi 4, 128 50 Prague 2, Czech Republic

2 Institute of Biophysics and Informatics, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Salmovská 478/1, 120 00 Prague 2, Czech Republic

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2011, 13:R122  doi:10.1186/ar3426

Published: 26 July 2011



The aim of this study was to examine the serum levels of S100 proteins and to evaluate their role in patients with recent-onset rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


Serum levels of S100A8/9 and S100A12 were analysed in 43 patients with recent-onset RA, both before and three months after the initiation of conventional treatment, as well as in 32 healthy individuals. Disease activity was assessed based on serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), the Disease Activity Score for 28 joints (DAS28) and the total number of swollen joints count for 66 joints (SJC).


The levels of serum S100A8/9 and S100A12 were significantly higher in patients with recent-onset RA compared to the levels in healthy individuals (P < 0.0001) and normalised after three months of treatment. Using age- and sex-adjusted analysis, S100A8/9 levels were correlated with CRP (r = 0.439, P < 0.01), DAS28 (r = 0.501, P = 0.002) and SJC (r = 0.443, P = 0.007), while S100A12 was less significantly correlated with these parameters. Higher levels of S100A8/9 at baseline predicted improvement in the levels of CRP and SJC over time. Moreover, decreases in serum S100A8/9 were associated with decreased serum levels of CRP (r = 0.459, P = 0.005) and improvements in SJC (r = 0.459, P = 0.005). In multiple linear regression analyses, decreases in S100A8/9 but not CRP were significant predictors for improvements in SJC (P = 0.001).


This study is the first to show normalisation of elevated S100 proteins in patients with recent-onset RA after the initiation of conventional treatment. Therefore, S100A8/9 might potentially be a predictive marker for improvement in the total number of swollen joints in patients in the early phase of RA.

rheumatoid arthritis; S100 proteins; disease activity; relapse