Mediterr J Rheumatol 2021;32(2):179-81
B-cell Activating Factor Polymorphisms in Rheumatoid Arthritis-Associated Atherosclerosis
Authors Information

1. Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

2. Second Internal Medicine Unit, 401 General Military Hospital of Athens, Athens, Greece

3. Rheumatology Unit, 251 Air Force General Hospital, Athens, Greece

4. Rheumatology Outpatient Unit, Department of Pathophysiology, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Laikon Hospital, Athens, Greece

Nezos A


Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a common chronic inflammatory disorder affecting 0,5-1% of the population, characterised by intense cellular activation and inflammation in the affected joints ultimately leading to bone and cartilage destruction. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among patients suffering from RA, with chronic inflammation and genetic background emerging as major predisposing factors. Although the pathogenetic events leading to an increased rate of atherosclerosis in the affected group are not precisely described, several genetic variations have been suggested as possible mediators of this process. The aim of the current research proposal is to investigate the role of B-cell activating factor (BAFF) variants in the pathogenesis of RA-related atherosclerosis. Stored DNA samples from the Biobank in the Department of Physiology of the Medical School of the University of Athens from RA individuals and healthy controls will be analysed for polymorphisms of B-cell activating factor (BAFF) by polymeric chain reaction (PCR) based assays. Detection of plaque formation and calculation of the mean intima media thickness (mIMT) of the vessel wall will be performed in RA patients by using carotid and femoral artery ultrasonography. Complete personal and family history, biochemical and serological markers will be obtained from the RA group and associated with the genetic and IMT data. The results will be compared across the different sub-groups in order to determine whether any particular genetic variants can act as prognostic markers for RA-related cardiovascular disease giving eventually new insights to atherosclerotic processes in the context of chronic inflammatory diseases. Such a result would invariably lead to a possible new treatment approach and/or prevention method to benefit this group of patients.  

Article Submitted: 9 Jun 2020; Revised Form: 8 Feb 2021; Article Accepted: 15 Mar 2021; Available Online: 30 Jun 2021


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY). 

©Kintrilis N, Nezos A, Theodorou E, Koutsilieris M, Mavragani CP.