14 August 2018 : Laboratory Research
High Interleukin-37 (IL-37) Expression and Increased Mucin-Domain Containing-3 (TIM-3) on Peripheral T Cells in Patients with Rheumatoid ArthritisLijun Song12CE, Yunqing Wang23BE, Yameng Sui24B, Jiao Sun56B, Dong Li17D, Guosheng Li18D, Jianwei Liu2D, Tianwang Li3A, Qiang Shu12A*
Med Sci Monit 2018; 24: LBR5660-5667
BACKGROUND: Anti-inflammatory mediators such as mucin-domain containing-3 (TIM-3) and IL-37 play an important role in the regulation of Th1-mediated immunity. This study was designed to investigate the proportions of various T cell subsets and monocytes in the peripheral blood of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, as well as the level of TIM-3 on these cells and serum cytokine levels.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We enrolled 59 RA patients and 46 age- and sex-matched healthy controls in this study. The proportion of T cells and TIM-3 expression on these T cells were determined by flow cytometry. Cytokine levels in serum were determined by ELISA.
RESULTS: Compared with the healthy controls, the proportions of CD3+CD4+ T cells and CD3+CD4+CD25+CD127low T cells in the peripheral blood were significantly higher in RA patients. However, RA patients had significantly lower proportions of CD3+CD8+ T cells and CD3+CD4-CD8- T cells. TIM-3 was highly expressed on CD3+CD4+, CD3+CD8+, CD3+CD4+CD25+CD127low, and CD3+CD4-CD8- T cells, as well as CD14+ monocytes, in RA patients. Nevertheless, no correlation between TIM-3 level and an RA disease activity score of 28 was found. The elevated serum levels of IL-6 and IL-37 were positively correlated with tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α).
CONCLUSIONS: Both pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α and IL-6) and anti-inflammatory mediators (TIM-3 and IL-37) simultaneously contribute to the pathogenesis of RA. TIM-3 and IL-37 may be used as potential biomarkers of active RA.
Keywords: Interleukins, T-Lymphocyte Subsets, Arthritis, Rheumatoid
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