Maksymowych, W. P. What do biomarkers tell us about the pathogenesis of ankylosing spondylitis? Arthritis Res. Ther. 11, 101

Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2S2 Canada. .
Arthritis research & therapy (Impact Factor: 3.75). 02/2009; 11(1):101. DOI: 10.1186/ar2565
Source: PubMed


Biomarkers may provide information that promotes understanding of prognosis, disease activity, and pathogenesis in ankylosing spondylitis. Biomarkers reflecting disease activity (metallo-proteinase-3) and inflammatory lesions on magnetic resonance imaging predict new bone formation and are ameliorated by anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy, yet this treatment may not prevent new bone formation. Moreover, elevated levels of biomarkers reflecting tissue repair (bone-specific alkaline phosphatase) post-treatment together with magnetic resonance imaging indicates such treatment may even promote repair through new bone formation. Tumor necrosis factor regulation of Dickkopf-1 may constitute a molecular brake that controls osteoblastogenesis through wingless and bone morphogenetic proteins in an established inflammatory lesion in ankylosing spondylitis.

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    • "It may be possible that very early inflammatory type A CILs resolve completely without any sequelae if anti-TNF therapy is introduced before bone formation pathways become activated [37]. On the other hand, once a lesion has become more advanced as in a type B CIL and crossed a certain 'threshold' of maturation, introduction of anti-TNF therapy may alleviate inflammation but bone formation may even be enhanced through downregulation of Dickkopf-1, a major inhibitor of bone formation by inhibiting signaling through Wingless proteins [38]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Demonstration of an association between inflammation and spinal ankylosis has been challenging. Until the advent of MRI, prospective study was not possible due to inaccessibility of tissue. Recent studies using MRI have described an association between the presence of bone edema at vertebral corners on MRI and the subsequent development of syndesmophytes at the corresponding vertebral corners on radiography. Although reports have also highlighted the development of new syndesmophytes where the baseline MRI shows no inflammation, MRI has limited sensitivity for detection of spinal inflammation that is clearly evident on histopathology. There are also crucial methodological challenges because radiographic assessment is limited to the anterior corners of the cervical and lumbar spine while MRI lesions in the cervical spine are often small while spurious inflammatory signal is common in the lumbar spine. Follow-up MRI evaluation in two independent studies has also shown that inflammatory lesions that resolve after anti-TNF therapy are more prone to develop into syndesmophytes. It may be possible that very early inflammatory lesions resolve completely without sequelae if anti-TNF therapy is introduced before new bone formation becomes largely autonomous. For an individual patient the overall development of new bone during anti-TNF therapy may therefore depend on the balance between the number of early and more mature inflammatory lesions. Clinical trials of anti-TNF agents in early spondyloarthritis together with prospective MRI studies will allow more detailed testing of this hypothesis as a major priority for the research agenda in spondyloarthritis.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2012 · Arthritis research & therapy
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    • "The TNF-brake hypothesis [73] may offer a possible explanation of the bony proliferative process in AS. It proposes that, after TNF blocking agents are administered, the DKK-1 is less stimulated by TNF, and then Wnt family members are less inhibited, permitting increased bony proliferation [73]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is not fully explained by inflammatory processes. Clinical, epidemiological, genetic, and course of disease features indicate additional host-related risk processes and predispositions. Collectively, the pattern of predisposition to onset in adolescent and young adult ages, male preponderance, and widely varied severity of AS is unique among rheumatic diseases. However, this pattern could reflect biomechanical and structural differences between the sexes, naturally occurring musculoskeletal changes over life cycles, and a population polymorphism. During juvenile development, the body is more flexible and weaker than during adolescent maturation and young adulthood, when strengthening and stiffening considerably increase. During middle and later ages, the musculoskeletal system again weakens. The novel concept of an innate axial myofascial hypertonicity reflects basic mechanobiological principles in human function, tissue reactivity, and pathology. However, these processes have been little studied and require critical testing. The proposed physical mechanisms likely interact with recognized immunobiological pathways. The structural biomechanical processes and tissue reactions might possibly precede initiation of other AS-related pathways. Research in the combined structural mechanobiology and immunobiology processes promises to improve understanding of the initiation and perpetuation of AS than prevailing concepts. The combined processes might better explain characteristic enthesopathic and inflammatory processes in AS.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2011
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    • "In addition, it may be possible that very early lesions resolve with anti-TNF therapy prior to the induction of reparative changes, whereas for more mature inflammatory lesions, reparation is allowed to proceed following resolution of inflammation with anti-TNF therapy. The overall outcome for the individual patient is then little change at the level of the entire spine [32]. The observation that new syndesmophytes also develop where there appeared to have been no prior inflammation at vertebral corners also points to the possibility of non-inflammation-driven pathways of reparation [33,34]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic rheumatic disease associated with spinal inflammation that subsequently leads to progression of structural damage and loss of function. The fully human anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) antibody adalimumab reduces the signs and symptoms and improves overall quality of life in patients with active AS; these benefits have been maintained through 2 years of treatment. Our objective was to compare the progression of structural damage in the spine in patients with AS treated with adalimumab for up to 2 years versus patients who had not received TNF antagonist therapy. Radiographs from patients with AS who received adalimumab 40 mg every other week subcutaneously were pooled from the Adalimumab Trial Evaluating Long-Term Efficacy and Safety for Ankylosing Spondylitis (ATLAS) study and a Canadian AS study (M03-606). Radiographic progression from baseline to 2 years in the spine of adalimumab-treated patients from these two studies (adalimumab cohort, n = 307) was compared with an historic anti-TNF-naïve cohort (Outcome in AS International Study [OASIS], n = 169) using the modified Stoke AS Spine Score (mSASSS) method. mSASSS results were not significantly different between the adalimumab cohort and the OASIS cohort, based on baseline and 2-year radiographs. Mean changes in mSASSS from baseline to 2 years were 0.9 for the OASIS cohort and 0.8 for the adalimumab cohort (P = 0.771), indicating similar radiographic progression in both groups. When results for patients in the OASIS cohort who met the baseline disease activity criteria for the ATLAS and Canadian studies (OASIS-Eligible cohort) were analyzed, there was no significant difference in mean change in mSASSS from baseline to 2 years between OASIS-Eligible patients and adalimumab-treated patients; the mean changes in mSASSS were 0.9 for the OASIS-Eligible cohort and 0.8 for the adalimumab cohort (P = 0.744). Two years of treatment with adalimumab did not slow radiographic progression in patients with AS, as assessed by the mSASSS scoring system, when compared with radiographic data from patients naïve to TNF antagonist therapy.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2009 · Arthritis research & therapy
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