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Reduction of serum interleukin 7 levels upon methotrexate therapy in early rheumatoid arthritis correlates with disease suppression
  1. J A G van Roon,
  2. K Jacobs,
  3. S Verstappen,
  4. J Bijlsma,
  5. F Lafeber
  1. Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  1. J van Roon, Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology (F02.127), University Medical Center Utrecht, P.O. Box 85500, 3508 GA Utrecht, the Netherlands; J.vanRoon{at}

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Increased interleukin (IL)7 levels that correlate with disease activity have been demonstrated in patients with arthritis.13 Additionally, abundant IL7 expression by macrophages, endothelial cells and fibroblasts was detected in the synovial tissue (ST) of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).3 IL7 promotes numerous pro-inflammatory responses that include T cell activation, which can overrule regulatory T cell function in RA.4 5 Recently, we also reported persistence of IL7 levels and IL7 activity in patients with RA that lacked response to anti-tumour necrisis factor (TNF)α treatment, suggesting IL7 to be a target for treatment in these patients.6 Since methotrexate (MTX) is currently the most commonly used drug …

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  • Competing interests: None declared.

  • Funding: The Dutch Arthritis Association and Amgen (Seattle, Washington, USA) financially contributed to this work.

  • SV contributed to this work on behalf of the Utrecht Rheumatoid Arthritis Cohort study group.

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