Background Behcet’s disease (BD) is a vasculitis with unknown aetiology. Previous studies have reported that T cell mediated immune response may play role in the pathogenesis of BD. Various cytokines have been demonstrated to be elevated in the serum of patients with BD. Interleukin-12 (IL-12) has been shown to have multiple effects on T cells and is a central mediator of the cell mediated immune response by its actions on the development, proliferation and activities of T helper 1 (TH1) cells.
Objectives The purpose of this study was to assess the serum levels of IL-12 in patients with BD.
Methods Serum IL-12 levels were investigated in 36 BD patients (13 active BD and 23 inactive BD patients), in 23 rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and in 22 healthy controls (HC) using sandwich ELISA method.
Results The mean IL-12 levels in the serum of the patients with BD, RA and HC were 3.023 ± 0.732 (mean ± standard error) pg/ml, 4.189 ± 0.991 pg/ml, 0.126 ± 0.091 pg/ml, respectively. The serum IL-12 level of BD patients was significantly higher from that of HC (p = 0.000), but no statistical difference was observed between the serum IL-12 levels of BD patients and RA patients (p = 0.335). Active BD (5.617 ± 1.588 pg/ml) and inactive BD (1.557 ± 0.534 pg/ml) patients had higher serum levels of IL-12 when compared to those of HC (p = 0.000 and p = 0.004, respectively).
Conclusion Our results suggest involvement of IL-12 in the pathogenesis of BD.
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