Il-2 in rheumatoid arthritis

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

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Various chemical messengers called cytokines play a role in the development and in the control of inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis.

The exact activities that occur are still unknown. Interleukin-2 plays a pro-inflammatory role in rheumatoid arthritis.

The Journal of Immunology, Vol 141, Issue 8 2612-2618, Copyright © 1988 by American Association of Immunologists

Soluble IL-2 receptor in rheumatoid arthritis. Correlation with disease activity, IL-1 and IL-2 inhibition

JA Symons, NC Wood, FS Di Giovine and GW Duff
University of Edinburgh, Department of Medicine, U.K.

An ELISA was used to measure soluble IL-2R (sIL-2R) in the sera and synovial fluids of patients with rheumatic diseases. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis had raised levels of sIL-2R both in their sera and in their synovial fluid compared to patients with osteoarthritis and age-matched healthy controls. Mononuclear cells from the synovial fluid of rheumatoid arthritis patients were found to produce spontaneously high levels of sIL-2R which eluted at approximately m.w. 40,000 on gel filtration. In contrast, autologous peripheral blood cells only produced comparable levels upon stimulation with mitogenic lectin. Sequential studies indicated that serum sIL-2R levels were highly correlated with disease activity, indicating that measurement of sIL-2R may be a useful clinical marker in the future. Within the joint, synovial fluid sIL-2R levels correlated significantly with immunoreactive IL-1 beta levels, providing evidence for a role of IL-1 in immune activation in the synovium. In synovial fluids, sIL-2R level also correlated with functional inhibition of IL-2-driven responses in vitro. Furthermore, sIL-2R immunoreactivity in synovial fluid eluted at m.w. 100,000 coeluting with IL-2-inhibitory activity and consistent with a role for sIL-2R in down-regulation of IL-2 responses. The abnormal m.w. may be accounted for by complex formation in the synovial fluid. Given the ability of sIL-2R to bind IL-2, the presence of sIL-2R within the joint may contribute to the well documented "IL-2 defect" seen in rheumatoid arthritis.

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