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Mediators Inflamm. 2002 Dec; 11(6): 345–349.
PMCID: PMC1781685

Tumour necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-2 soluble receptor and different inflammatory parameters in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Although the participation of cytokines in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) seems to be unequivocal, their relationship with current serum markers of this disease is not clear. The present study analyses whether there is any correlation between the levels of tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-2 soluble receptor (sIL-2R) and the concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and beta(2)-microglobulin in a group of 21 patients with RA, all rheumatoid factor positive. METHODS: The levels of TNF-alpha and sIL-2R were analysed in association with other parameters of inflammation (ESR, CRP and beta(2)-microglobulin). RESULTS: In comparison with the control group, RA patients presented high median levels of both cytokines, TNF-alpha (6.4 pg/ml) and sIL-2R (56 pmol/L), as well as of ESR (34 mm/h), CRP (0.9 mg/dl) and beta(2)-microglobulin (1.6 mg/dl) (p < 0.01). However, only ESR levels in the RA group significantly differ from the control group (p < 0.01). No correlation was found between the inflammatory parameters. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggested that TNF-alpha and slL-2R levels are up-regulated in RA patients but did not significantly differ from the control group. Due to the chronic course of this disease, other inflammatory markers must be identified in order to provide early therapeutic strategies to these patients.

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Selected References

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