Vol 58, No 2 (2007)
Original paper
Published online: 2007-03-13

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Serum gelatinases (MMP-2 and MMP-9) and VCAM-1 as a guideline in a therapeutic approach in Graves’ ophthalmopathy

Janusz Myśliwiec, Małgorzata Adamczyk, Przemysław Pawłowski, Agnieszka Nikołajuk, Maria Górska
Endokrynol Pol 2007;58(2):105-109.


Introduction: The aim of this study was to estimate the influence of corticosteroids on soluble MMP-2, MMP-9 and VCAM-1 in patients with Graves’ ophthalmopathy (GO) in order to assess their usefulness as a guideline in a therapeutic approach.
Material and methods: Serum gelatinases and VCAM-1 were detected in three groups of subjects: 20 patients with GO (CAS ≥ 3, anamnesis of GO ≥ 1 yr), 12 patients with no clinical symptoms of ophthalmopathy (Gd) and 10 healthy volunteers. Corticosteroid therapy consisted of intravenous infusions (2 series, 3 grams each time) of methylprednisolone (MP) and subsequent treatment with oral prednisone (60 mg per day) in a tapering schedule. The serum samples were collected 24 hours before MP, 24 hours after MP, after 14 days of treatment with prednisone and at the end of corticosteroid therapy. The levels of soluble MMP-2, MMP-9 and VCAM-1 were determined by the ELISA method.
Results: We have found no differences in serum MMP-2 between the groups studied and a significant reduction after MP only in corticosteroid-resistant GO patients. Soluble MMP-9 was highest in the GO group compared with both the Gd and control individuals. Moreover serum MMP-9 decreased in corticosteroid-responsive GO patients after MP and remained at the lower level at the end of the study. Positive correlations between MMP-2 and MMP-9 before and after MP administration were observed. Serum VCAM-1 was significantly elevated both in GO and Gd subjects and pre-treatment VCAM-1 levels were elevated in corticosteroid-responders compared with non-responders.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that serum VCAM-1 may serve as a marker predicting the efficacy of corticosteroids and that soluble MMP-9 may be helpful in monitoring corticosteroid administration and in decision-making with regard to further GO treatment.

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