We studied the relation between disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and the microheterogeneity of transferrin. Using crossed immuno isoelectric focusing, transferrin microheterogeneity patterns were analyzed in sera of healthy individuals, nonanemic RA patients, iron deficient RA patients and RA patients with the anemia of chronic disease (ACD). In all RA groups a significant shift in the microheterogeneity pattern was observed, reflecting increased synthesis of transferrins with highly branched glycan chains. Increased disease activity correlated with both the induction of ACD and the change in transferrin glycosylation, which was, therefore, most pronounced in ACD. Generally, an increased synthesis of glycoproteins is accompanied by alterations in their glycosylation pattern. Since transferrin is a negative acute phase protein, our results indicated that changes in synthetic rates and changes in glycosylation induced in the acute phase response are regulated independently.

Acute phase response, Disease activity, Erythroblast iron availability, Glycosylation, Transferrin
dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00302152, hdl.handle.net/1765/63416
Rheumatology International
Department of Clinical Chemistry

Feelders, R.A, Vreugdenhil, G, de Jong, G, Swaak, A.J.G, & van Eijk, H.G. (1992). Transferrin microheterogeneity in rheumatoid arthritis - Relation with disease activity and anemia of chronic disease. Rheumatology International, 12(5), 195–199. doi:10.1007/BF00302152