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J Immunol. 2001 Jan 1;166(1):517-21.

Reduced incidence and severity of collagen-induced arthritis in mice lacking IL-18.

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  • 1Department of Immunology and Bacteriology, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G11 6NT, United Kingdom.

Abstract

We have recently reported the presence and a potential proinflammatory role of IL-18 in the synovium of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. To obtain direct evidence that IL-18 plays an influential role in articular inflammation, we investigated the development of collagen-induced arthritis in a strain of mice lacking IL-18 (IL-18(-/-)) of DBA/1 background. IL-18(-/-) mice developed markedly reduced incidence of arthritis compared with heterozygous or wild-type mice. Of the IL-18(-/-) mice that developed arthritis, the severity of the disease was significantly reduced compared with the intact mice. This was accompanied by reduced articular inflammation and destruction evident on histology. IL-18(-/-) mice also had significantly reduced Ag-specific proliferation and proinflammatory cytokine (IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, IL-6, and IL-12) production by spleen and lymph node cells in response to bovine type II collagen (CII) in vitro compared with wild-type mice, paralleled in vivo by a significant reduction in serum anti-CII IgG2a Ab level. Treatment with rIL-18 completely reversed the disease of the IL-18(-/-) mice to that of the wild-type mice. These data directly demonstrate a pivotal role of IL-18 in the development of inflammatory arthritis and suggest that antagonists to IL-18 may have therapeutic potential in rheumatic diseases.

PMID:
11123331
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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