eISSN: 1644-4124
ISSN: 1426-3912
Central European Journal of Immunology
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2/2019
vol. 44
 
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abstract:
Clinical immunology

Correlations between serum interleukin 6, serum soluble interleukin 6 receptor, and disease activity in systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis patients treated with or without tocilizumab

Soamarat Vilaiyuk
,
Butsabong Lerkvaleekul
,
Sirisucha Soponkanaporn
,
Chavachol Setthaudom
,
Supranee Buranapraditkun

(Centr Eur J Immunol 2019; 44 (2): 150-158)
Online publish date: 2019/07/30
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Introduction
Interleukin (IL)-6 is a proinflammatory cytokine involved in systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA). Since these patients are often treated with tocilizumab (TCZ), anti-IL-6 receptor (IL-6R) antibody, we investigated correlations between serum IL-6 and soluble IL-6R-levels and disease activity in SJIA patients treated with or without TCZ.

Material and methods
164 serum samples were taken from 42 SJIA patients treated with or without TCZ (69 and 95 samples, respectively). Patients were assigned to three groups according to disease status: 1) systemic (patients with systemic features and/or arthritis), 2) arthritis (patients with arthritis but no systemic features), and 3) inactive (clinically inactive disease). Disease activity was assessed using the Juvenile Arthritis Disease Activity Score-27 (JADAS-27) at the time of blood collection.

Results
IL-6 levels were highest in SJIA patients with predominant systemic features, while serum sIL-6R levels were highest in patients with persistent arthritis. Serum IL-6 correlated with JADAS-27 in patients treated with and without TCZ (r = 0.38 and r = 0.65, respectively), whereas serum sIL-6R levels correlated with JADAS-27 in patients treated without (r = 0.30) but not with (r = 0.14) TCZ. The sIL-6R/IL-6 ratio negatively correlated with JADAS-27 in patients treated with and without TCZ (r = –0.49 and r = –0.56, respectively).

Conclusions
Serum IL-6 levels correlated more strongly with disease activity parameters than did sIL-6R levels and could be useful for monitoring disease activity in SJIA patients. The sIL-6R/IL-6 ratio might be a promising disease activity marker in both SJIA patients treated with and without TCZ.

keywords:

interleukin 6, interleukin 6 receptor, systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, tocilizumab, anti-interleukin 6 receptor antibody, correlation

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