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Rituximab modulates the expression of IL-22 in the salivary glands of patients with primary Sjogren's syndrome
  1. Francesco Ciccia1,
  2. AnnaRita Giardina1,
  3. Aroldo Rizzo2,
  4. Giuliana Guggino1,
  5. Paola Cipriani3,
  6. Francesco Carubbi3,
  7. Roberto Giacomelli3,
  8. Giovanni Triolo1
  1. 1Dipartimento Biomedico di Medicina Interna e Specialistica, Sezione di Reumatologia, Università di Palermo, Palermo, Italy
  2. 2Anatomia Patologica, Azienda Ospedaliera Ospedali Riuniti Villa Sofia-Cervello, Palermo, Italy
  3. 3Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche Applicate e Biotecnologiche, Sezione di Reumatologia, Università di L'Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy
  4. Correspondence to Professor Giovanni Triolo, Dipartimento Biomedico di Medicina Interna e Specialistiche, Sezione di Reumatologia, Università di Palermo, 90127 Palermo, Italy;

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We have recently demonstrated that interleukin (IL)-22, mainly produced by T-helper 17 effector cells, natural killer (NK)p44+NK cells and epithelial cells, may be potentially involved in the pathogenesis of primary Sjogren's syndrome (pSS).1 The IL-22/IL-22R pathway is known to play a role in the emergence of T and B-cell lymphoma2 ,3 and pSS is considered a risk factor for the development of lymphoma.4

Rituximab, which has historically been used for the treatment of B-cell lymphoma,5 has also been considered to be effective in the therapy of pSS.6

Ten consecutive patients with pSS (eight women and two men, with a mean duration of disease of 48±18 months), diagnosed according to the American–European Consensus Group criteria for pSS,7 who were treated with two courses of intravenous infusions of 1000 mg rituximab (Roche, Woerden, The Netherlands) at days 1 and 15, at baseline and then after 6 months, were considered for this study. After 48 weeks the patients again underwent salivary gland biopsy. The demographic, clinical and histological characteristics of …

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  • Contributors FC, RG and GT: study design. FC, AG, AR, GG, FC and PC: acquisition of data. FC, AR, GG, RG, GT: analysis and interpretation of data. FC and GT: manuscript preparation. RG and GT shared co-senior authorship.

  • Ethics approval Obtained from the Ethical Committee of the University of Palermo and L'Aquila.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Competing interests None.

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

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