Review: Collagen markers in early arthritic diseases

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In arthritic diseases e.g. osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the stability of the collagen type II (CII) fibers, a major component of articular cartilage, is compromised with extensive proteolytic breakdown leading to cartilage erosion and joint deterioration. A clinical need for molecular markers that give instantaneous measure of rate of joint deterioration has developed, as other measurements e.g. arthroscopy, and joint space narrowing are insensitive to small changes in disease status over short periods of time. Owing to its exclusive presence in cartilaginous tissues, markers of CII synthesis and degradation have been extensively studied. Assays that measure these markers in biological fluids e.g. synovial fluid (SF), serum, and urine have been developed and applied to detect early disease onset, monitor disease progression, and response to anti-arthritic drugs. CII synthesis markers include the procollagen type II C-propeptide (PIICP) and the procollagen type IIA N-propeptide (PIIANP). CII degradation markers include CII C-telopeptide (CII-X), CII neoepitope (TIINE), helix II, C2C, CNBr 9.7, Coll 2-1, and Coll 2-1 NO2. Most of these markers differentiate between early stages of OA, RA and reference controls. The best correlations with structural changes occur when measurements are made in SF while serum measurement frequently did not correlate with structural changes. Although the selection of an optimal marker or a set of markers is still problematic, few markers are of considerable utility in early detection and monitoring of arthritic diseases. The current challenge is to improve the discriminatory power of these markers so they can be used to guide therapeutic decisions. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication Title

Clinica Chimica Acta