Becker H, Maaser C, Mickholz E, et al. Relationship between serum levels of macrophage migration inhibitory factor and the activity of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitides
Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a central proinflammatory cytokine that regulates innate and adaptive immune responses. To evaluate its role in primary vasculitides, we determined MIF by enzyme-linked immunoassay in the sera of patients with Wegener's granulomatosis (WG; n=26), microscopic polyangiitis (MPA; n=10), polyarteritis nodosa (PAN; n=9) and giant cell arteritis (GCA; n=11). Healthy controls (n=26) and patients with sarcoidosis (n=14) were studied in parallel. Serum levels of MIF were significantly higher in patients with WG (median 41.1, range 3.2-120 ng/ml) than those in healthy controls (6.0, 0.015-36.5 ng/ml; P<0.001) and in patients with sarcoidosis (13.8, 0.015-67.1 ng/ml; P<0.05). MIF values were higher in MPA patients (29.5, 9.9-69.4 ng/ml; P<0.01) in comparison with those in healthy controls. In particular, increased levels of MIF were associated with active disease as assessed by the Birmingham Vasculitis Activity Score. Sequential studies showed decreased levels of MIF after initiation of immunosuppressive therapy, with clinical improvement in WG and MPA patients. In contrast, serum levels of MIF were not significantly elevated in patients with PAN and GCA. The results suggest that MIF contributes to the inflammatory process and correlates with disease activity in antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitides.
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