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Increased serum IL-33 levels may indicate vascular involvement in systemic sclerosis
  1. Sarah Terras,
  2. Elisabeth Opitz,
  3. Rose K C Moritz,
  4. Stefan Höxtermann,
  5. Thilo Gambichler,
  6. Alexander Kreuter
  1. Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology, Ruhr University Bochum, Bochum, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Professor Alexander Kreuter, Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology, Ruhr-University Bochum, Gudrunstraße 56, Bochum D-44791, Germany; a.kreuter{at}

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Interleukin 33 (IL-33) belongs to the IL-1 family and was found in smooth muscle cells, epithelial cells, fibroblasts, keratinocytes, endothelial cells, dendritic cells and activated macrophages.1 IL-33 binds the orphan receptor ST2 and induces gene expression of Th2-associated cytokines. Treatment of wild-type mice with IL-33 led to changes in vessels, digestive tract and lungs.2

Manetti et al 3 recently investigated serum IL-33 levels by means of an ELISA in 58 patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc) and 30 healthy individuals. They observed that serum IL-33 was significantly increased in patients with SSc as compared with healthy controls. They also found that serum IL-33 levels were associated with early disease stage and microvascular involvement as determined by capillaroscopy. The study of Manetti et al 3 prompted us to investigate serum IL-33 …

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  • Contributors All authors have substantially contributed to this work.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval provided by Ruhr University Bochum.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.