This study was performed in collaboration with the group of Helga Sanner at the Department of Rheumatology at OUS, Rikshospitalet.
Juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM) is a rare chronic low-grade inflammatory disease. The main target of the inflammatory response are muscles and skin, although, other organ systems may also be affected. The group have previously shown that after long-term disease, JDM patients have pulmonary impairment and subclinical cardiac dysfunction. We have also found that patients have more abdominal fat accumulation compared with controls. Abdominal fat accumulation releases pro-inflammatory substances called adipokines, which can negatively affect cardiac health. However, adiponectin and apelin-12 are exceptions to this. Increasing levels of adiponectin and apelin-12 have a positive impact on inflammatory conditions, including cardiac diseases.
In the present study, we show that the adipokine leptin was higher in JDM patients compared with controls. The adipokines apelin-12 and visfatin were higher in patients who have active disease compared with patients with inactive disease (with less disease symptoms). Further, adiponectin and apelin-12 were positively, and resistin and lipocalin-2 negatively associated with cardiac systolic function, especially in patients with active disease.
These findings provides new knowledge about how adipokines are regulated after long term JDM. The impact from adiponectin, apelin-12, resistin and lipocalin-2 upon cardiac function in JDM may guide future research in understanding disease progression and development of personalized medication.