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Open Access Research

A panel of oxidative stress assays does not provide supplementary diagnostic information in Behcet's disease patients

Yasemin D Akcay1*, Ferhan G Sagin1, Kenan Aksu2, Gokhan Keser2, Emma Taylor3, Iona Knight3, Paul G Winyard3 and Eser Y Sozmen1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biochemistry, Ege University, School of Medicine, 35100 Bornova, Izmir, Turkey

2 Department of Rheumatology, Ege University, 35100 Bornova, Izmir, Turkey

3 Peninsula Medical School, University of Exeter, Exeter EX1 2 LU, UK

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Journal of Inflammation 2012, 9:13  doi:10.1186/1476-9255-9-13

Published: 3 April 2012

Abstract

Background

Recent findings suggest a role of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of Behcet's disease (BD), but the utility of oxidative stress-associated assays in offering diagnostic information or in the monitoring of disease activity is largely unassessed.

Objective and methods

We aimed to measure oxidative and inflammatory markers, along with the markers of reactive nitrogen species, S-nitrosothiols and 3-nitrotyrosine, in BD patients (n = 100) and healthy volunteers (n = 50). These markers were evaluated in regard to their role in the pathogenesis of BD as well as their relation to clinical presentation, disease activity and duration.

Results

Median values for erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein, leukocyte count, and IL-18 levels, as well as myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity, were statistically higher in the patient group compared to controls. Some inflammation markers (ESR, neutrophil and leukocyte counts) were statistically higher (p < 0.05) in the active period. In contrast, oxidative stress-associated measures (erythrocyte lipid peroxidation, antioxidant enzymes and measures of serum antioxidant capacity), revealed no statistically significant differences between the median values in BD patients versus healthy control subjects (p > 0.05 in all statistical comparisons), nor was there any difference in median levels of these oxidative stress markers in active disease versus disease remission. S-nitrosothiols and 3-nitrotyrosine were undetectable in BD plasma.

Conclusions

The application of oxidative stress-associated measures to BD blood samples offered no supplemental diagnostic or disease activity information to that provided by standard laboratory measures of inflammation. S-nitrosothiols and 3-nitrotyrosine appeared not to be markers for active BD; thus the search for biochemical markers that will indicate the active period should be continued with larger studies.

Keywords:
Beh├žet's disease; inflammation; cytokines; S-nitrosothiols; nitrotyrosine; electron paramagnetic resonance spectrometry; nitric oxide; oxidative stress