Epidermal growth factor and gastrin in scleroderma/CREST syndrome.
Jimenez-Balderas F. Zonana-Nacach A. Fonseca-Yerena ME. Ruiz-Chaparro A. Pascoe-Lira D.
Departamento de Reumatologia, Centro Medico Nacional Siglo XXI, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Mexico, D.F., Mexico
BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to determine levels of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and gastrin (GA) in saliva, serum, and urine in scleroderma (Scl) and CREST syndrome. METHODS: EGF and GA levels were measured by radioimmunoassay in saliva, serum and urine in 10 patients (51 years, median; range, 35-66 years); 9 females and 1 male with Scl, 3 females with CREST syndrome, and 18 age- and sex-matched controls, 17 females and 1 male free of any systemic inflammatory disease. RESULTS: In serum, the EGF was lower in Scl/CREST than controls (p = 0.02), while GA serum concentrations were higher in Scl/CREST (p = 0.02). In urine, EGF in Scl/CREST was slightly lower than controls (p = NS) and GA concentrations were higher than controls (p = 0.03). In saliva, the EGF levels in Scl/CREST were also slightly lower than controls (p = NS), while GA concentrations in both Scl/CREST and controls were not different (p = NS). CONCLUSIONS: Low concentrations of EGF in serum probably play a role in the pathogenesis of Scl/CREST. GA concentration can be increased as a consequence of the low levels of EGF because of the structural homology of this peptide with urogastrone, a GA inhibitor factor.