• Angiogenesis and blood vessel stability in inflammatory arthritis.

      Kennedy, Aisling; Ng, Chin Teck; Biniecka, Monika; Saber, Tajvur; Taylor, Cormac; O'Sullivan, Jacintha; Veale, Douglas J; Fearon, Ursula; Dublin Academic Health Care, St. Vincent's University Hospital and The Conway, Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, Dublin, Ireland. (2012-02-01)
      OBJECTIVE: To assess blood vessel stability in inflammatory synovial tissue (ST) and to examine neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM), oxidative DNA damage, and hypoxia in vivo. METHODS: Macroscopic vascularity and ST oxygen levels were determined in vivo in patients with inflammatory arthritis who were undergoing arthroscopy. Vessel maturity/stability was quantified in matched ST samples by dual immunofluorescence staining for factor VIII (FVIII)/alpha-smooth muscle actin (alpha-SMA). NCAM and 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) were examined by immunohistochemistry. Angiogenesis was assessed in vitro, using human dermal endothelial cells (HDECs) in a Matrigel tube formation assay. RESULTS: A significant number of immature vessels (showing no pericyte recruitment) was observed in tissue from patients with inflammatory arthritis (P < 0.001), in contrast to osteoarthritic and normal tissue, which showed complete recruitment of pericytes. Low in vivo PO(2) levels in the inflamed joint (median [range] 22.8 [3.2-54.1] mm Hg) were inversely related to increased macroscopic vascularity (P < 0.04) and increased microscopic expression of FVIII and alpha-SMA (P < 0.04 and P < 0.03, respectively). A significant proportion of vessels showed focal expression of NCAM and strong nuclear 8-oxodG expression, implicating a loss of EC-pericyte contact and increased DNA damage, levels of which were inversely associated with low in vivo PO(2) (P = 0.04 for each comparison). Circulating cells were completely negative for 8-oxodG. Exposure of HDEC to 3% O(2) (reflecting mean ST in vivo measurements) significantly increased EC tube formation (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate the presence of unstable vessels in inflamed joints associated with hypoxia, incomplete EC-pericyte interactions, and increased DNA damage. These changes may further contribute to persistent hypoxia in the inflamed joint to further drive this unstable microenvironment.
    • The effects of alcohol consumption and its associations with disease activity among 979 patients with inflammatory arthritis.

      Turk, Matthew; Murray, Kieran; Alammari, Yousef; Gorman, Aine; Young, Francis; Gallagher, Phil; Saber, Tajvur; Freeman, Lorna; Maguire, Sinead; O'Shea, Finbar; et al. (2021-04)
      Objective: The role of alcohol in inflammatory disease remains debated. This study explores the relationship between alcohol and disease activity in patients with inflammatory arthritis. Methods: Patients attending a rheumatology clinic between 2010 and 2020 were prospectively followed. Information on demographics, alcohol use, smoking habits and disease outcome measures were collected from these patients. Statistical analysis included univariate and multivariate linear and binary logistic regressions, Mann-Whitney U tests and one-way analysis of variance with Tukey's honest significant difference (HSD) test. Results: Of the 979 analysed patients, 62% had rheumatoid arthritis (RA), 26.7% had psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and 11.2% had ankylosing spondylitis. Mean DAS28-CRP (Disease Activity Score 28 - C-reactive protein) in RA and PsA at 1 year was 2.96±1.39, and 64.2% of patients were in remission (DAS28-CRP ≤2.6 or BASDAI (Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index) ≤4). Both male gender and risky drinking (>15 units of weekly alcohol) were significantly associated with remission. Compared with women, men had an OR of 1.8 (1.1, 2.5) (p=0.034) for any alcohol consumption and 6.9 (4.7, 9.1) (p=0.001) for drinking at least 15 weekly drinks. When adjusted for gender, there was no association between alcohol and disease activity. Yet, when adjusted for alcohol consumption, gender still significantly influenced disease activity. Conclusion: While it may appear that alcohol is linked to remission in inflammatory arthritis, when adjusted for gender, it is not. Men with inflammatory arthritis drink significantly more than women and have less severe disease activity.