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Commentary

Soluble RAGE: a hot new biomarker for the hot joint?

Bernhard Moser, Barry I Hudson and Ann Marie Schmidt*

Author Affiliations

Department of Surgery, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2005, 7:142-144  doi:10.1186/ar1764

Published: 3 June 2005

Abstract

The receptor for advanced glycation endproducts (RAGE) interacts with distinct ligand families linked to the inflammatory response. Studies in animal models suggest that RAGE is upregulated in the inflamed joint and that blockade of the receptor, using a ligand decoy soluble form of RAGE (sRAGE), attenuates joint inflammation and expression of inflammatory and tissue-destructive mediators. In this issue of Arthritis Research & Therapy, Rille Pullerits and colleagues reported that plasma levels of sRAGE were reduced in subjects with rheumatoid arthritis compared with healthy controls or subjects with non-inflammatory joint disease. These findings suggest the possibility that levels of sRAGE might be a biomarker of inflammation. Not resolved by these studies, however, is the intriguing possibility that endogenously higher levels of sRAGE might be linked to a lower incidence of arthritis or to the extent of inflammation. Nevertheless, although 'cause or effect' relationships may not be established in this report, fascinating insights into RAGE, inflammation and human arthritis emerge from these studies.