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Arthritis Res. 2000;2(4):245-8. Epub 2000 May 19.

Physiologic role of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist.

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  • 1Division of Rheumatology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado 80262, USA. William.Arend@uchsc.edu


Recent studies have described the spontaneous development of arthritis or vasculitis in IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) knockout mice bred on specific and different genetic backgrounds. The levels of both secreted and intracellular isoforms of IL-1Ra produced in the rheumatoid joint or in the arterial wall may not be adequate to effectively inhibit the excess amounts of locally produced IL-1. Thus, an imbalance between IL-1 and IL-1Ra may predispose to local inflammatory disease in particular tissues in the presence of other as yet unknown genetically influenced factors.

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