The relationship between clinical phenotype and kallikrein-kinin bioregulation in different forms of arthritis

Dino B.A. Tan, Chantalia Tedja, Lukas Kuster, Warren D. Raymond, Andreea Harsanyi, Priya V. Chowalloor, Neil L. Misso, Shashi Argawal, Kanti D. Bhoola, Helen I. Keen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have shown increased levels of neutrophils generating kallikrein-kinin peptides in blood which are potent mediators of inflammation. This study investigated the association between the bioregulation of kinin-mediated inflammation with the clinical, quality of life, and imaging characteristics (e.g. ultrasonography) of different arthritides. Methods: Patients with osteoarthritis (OA, n = 29), gout (n = 10) and RA (n = 8) were recruited and screened for clinical symptoms, quality of life, and ultrasonographical assessment of arthritis. Blood neutrophils were assessed for the expression of bradykinin receptors (B1R and B2R), kininogens and kallikreins by immunocytochemistry with visualization by bright field microscopy. Levels of plasma biomarkers were measured by ELISA and cytometric bead array. Results: Quality of life (SF-36 domains and summary scores; including pain; and, HAQ) was similar across OA, gout and RA patients; with the exception of worse physical functioning scores between OA and gout patients. Synovial hypertrophy (on ultrasound) differed between groups (p = 0.001), and the dichotomised Power Doppler (PD) score of greater than or equal to 2 (PD-GE2) was marginally significant (p = 0.09). Plasma IL-8 were highest in patients with gout followed by RA and OA (both, P < 0.05). Patients with RA had higher plasma levels of sTNFR1, IL-1β, IL-12p70, TNF and IL-6, compared to OA and gout patients (all, P < 0.05). Patients with OA had higher expression of K1B and KLK1 on blood neutrophils followed by RA and gout patients (both, P < 0.05). Bodily pain correlated with B1R expression on blood neutrophils (r = 0.334, p = 0.05), and inversely with plasma levels of CRP (r = −0.55), sTNFR1 (r = −0.352) and IL-6 (r = −0.422), all P < 0.05. Expression of B1R on blood neutrophils also correlated with Knee PD (r = 0.403) and PD-GE2 (r = 0.480), both P < 0.05. Conclusions: Pain levels and quality of life were similar between patients with OA, RA and gout with knee arthritis. Plasma inflammatory biomarkers and B1R expression on blood neutrophils correlated with pain. Targeting B1R to modulate the kinin-kallikrein system may pose as a new therapeutic target in the treatment of arthritis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number396
JournalBMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2023


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