Steroids reduce complement activation in rheumatoid arthritis

Brandslund, I.; Peters, N.D.; Ejstrup, L.

International Journal of Tissue Reactions 7(2): 161-165


ISSN/ISBN: 0250-0868
PMID: 3875589
Document Number: 541
Patients with seropositive, classical rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with severe active disease have raised plasma concentrations of the complement C3 split product C3d. These values display little diurnal or circadian variation in the individual patient. During a 3-month period the variation was within 10 mU/l in 45 patients (ref. range 20-52 mU/l, RA patients up to 120 mU/l.) Six RA patients were treated with steroids on clinical indication, and the plasma C3d, Ritchie index and pain score before and during the treatment (30 mg prednisolone per day) were measured. The variables showed a steady decrease during the next 14 days. Plasma C3d fell 2/3 of the total fall within the first 48 hours, while the serum total haemolytic complement activity, complement C3 and C4 did not change significantly. This shows that the anti-inflammatory effect of steroids is accompanied by a reduction of complement activation.

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Steroids reduce complement activation in rheumatoid arthritis