Aims Growth arrest-specific protein 6 (Gas6) is a Vitamin K-dependent protein expressed by endothelial cells and leukocytes that are involved in cell survival, migration, and proliferation in response to inflammatory processes. The aim of this study was to assess the implications of Gas6 in Sjögren syndrome (SS) and its expression in the labial salivary gland. Methods and Results A total of 254 adults, including 159 with primary Sjögren syndrome (pSS), 34 with secondary Sjögren syndrome (sSS), and 61 normal controls, were recruited. Plasma Gas6 concentrations were determined, and Gas6 expressions in labial salivary gland (LSG) tissues from controls and pSS and sSS patients were also evaluated. Plasma Gas6 concentrations were significantly lower among patients with pSS than normal controls (13.5 ± 8.6 vs. 19.9 ± 13.4 ng/ml, p <0.001). There were, however, no significant differences in plasma Gas6 levels between pSS and sSS patients (13.5 ± 8.6 vs. 16.9 ± 11.2 ng/ml, p = 0.068). In multivariate logistic regression analysis, after adjustment for white blood cell count, hemoglobin level, platelet count, lymphocyte count, and C3 and C4 levels, lower plasma Gas6 concentrations were significantly associated with an increased risk of SS. Moreover, by using a semi-quantitative scale to evaluate Gas6 expression in LSG tissues, Gas6 expression was found to be markedly lower in LSG tissues from pSS patients than in tissues from normal controls. Conclusions Decreased plasma Gas6 concentration and LSG expression were associated with pSS. As such, Gas6 may represent a novel independent risk factor for pSS, with a potential role in salivary gland inflammation and dysfunction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)