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Serum level of adiponectin is a surrogate independent biomarker of radiographic disease progression in early rheumatoid arthritis: results from the ESPOIR cohort

Magali Meyer123, Jérémie Sellam123, Soraya Fellahi234, Salma Kotti5, Jean-Philippe Bastard234, Olivier Meyer6, Frédéric Lioté7, Tabassome Simon25, Jacqueline Capeau234 and Francis Berenbaum123*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Rheumatology, AP-HP, Saint-Antoine Hospital, Inflammation-Immunopathology-Biotherapy i2B Department, 184, rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, 75012 Paris, France

2 UPMC Univ Paris 06, F-75005 Paris, France

3 INSERM, UMR_S 938, Faculté de Médecine Saint Antoine, F-75012 Paris, France

4 Department of Biochemistry, AP-HP, Hopital Tenon, F-75020 Paris, France

5 Unité de Recherche Clinique de l’Est Parisien, AP-HP, Hôpital Saint-Antoine, Paris, France

6 Department of Rheumatology, Paris Diderot Paris VII University, AP-HP, Bichat Hospital, Paris, France

7 Department of Rheumatology, Paris Diderot Paris VII University, AP-HP, Lariboisière Hospital, Paris, France

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2013, 15:R210  doi:10.1186/ar4404

Published: 9 December 2013



Adipokines such as adiponectin, leptin, and visfatin/nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) have recently emerged as pro-inflammatory mediators involved in the pathophysiology of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We aimed to determine whether serum adipokine levels independently predicted early radiographic disease progression in early RA.


In total, 791 patients were included from the prospective Etude et Suivi des POlyarthrites Indifférenciées Récentes (ESPOIR) cohort who met the American College of Rheumatology-European League Against Rheumatism criteria for RA (n = 632) or had undifferentiated arthritis (UA) (n = 159). Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to assess baseline serum levels of adiponectin, leptin, and visfatin/NAMPT. In the RA group, we tested the association of serum adipokine levels and (a) baseline radiographic damage and (b) radiographic disease progression, defined as a change >0 or ≥5 in total Sharp-van der Heijde Score (∆SHS) between inclusion and 1 year (∆SHS ≥1 or rapid radiographic progression: ∆SHS ≥5), adjusting for confounders (age, sex, body-mass index, insulin resistance, C-reactive protein level, Disease Activity Score in 28 joints, Health Assessment Questionnaire score, autoantibody status, steroid use, and radiographic evidence of RA damage at inclusion).


Adiponectin level was independently associated with baseline total SHS (adjusted β = 0.12; P = 0.006). It was also associated with ∆SHS ≥1 (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 1.84 (1.25 to 2.72)) involving erosive as well as narrowing disease progression (aOR = 1.73 (1.17 to 2.55) and 1.93 (1.04 to 3.57), respectively). Serum adiponectin level predicted ∆SHS ≥5 (aOR = 2.0 (1.14 to 3.52)). Serum leptin level was independently associated only with ∆SHS >0 (aOR = 1.59 (1.05 to 2.42)). Conversely, serum visfatin/NAMPT level and radiographic disease progression were unrelated. Considering the receiver-operated characteristic curves, the best adiponectin cut-offs were 4.14 μg/ml for ∆SHS ≥1 and 6.04 μg/ml for ∆SHS ≥5, with a good specificity (58% and 75% for ∆SHS ≥1 and ∆SHS ≥5, respectively) and high negative predictive values (75% and 92% for ∆SHS ≥1 or ∆SHS ≥5, respectively).


Serum adiponectin level is a simple useful biomarker associated with early radiographic disease progression in early RA, independent of RA-confounding factors and metabolic status.