Objective: The study aims to investigate the potential role of interleukin (IL)-27 in Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) by examining the expression of IL-27 in the articular joint of RA patients and the effect of recombinant IL-27 in vivo in a murine model of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA).
Methods: Synovial membranes from RA patients were examined for the presence of IL-27 by immunohistochemistry and by western blot. Mice developing CIA were treated with IL-27 and the ensuing disease progression and immunological profile determined. The effect of IL-27 on T cell response in vitro was also ascertained.
Results: IL-27 was clearly detected in the RA synovial membranes. A short term administration of IL-27 at the onset of the disease significantly attenuated disease severity compared with untreated controls. Histological examination revealed that while untreated mice developed severe cellular infiltration in the joints, synovial hyperplasia and joint erosion, this pathology was profoundly reduced in IL-27-treated animals. Treatment of mice with IL-27 also decreased the amounts of serum IL-6 and collagen-specific IgG2a. Spleen and lymph node cells from the IL-27-treated mice produced significantly less IFNγ and IL-17 compared with cells from the control mice when cultured with collagen in vitro.
Conclusion: These results demonstrate that IL-27 may be a potential therapeutic agent against rheumatoid arthritis at the onset of the disease.
- T cells
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