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FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2001 Feb;30(1):13-9.

Pro-inflammatory cytokine production by synoviocytes following exposure to protein I/II, a modulin from oral streptococci.

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INSERM U392, Faculté de Pharmacie, Université Louis Pasteur de Strasbourg, Illkirch, France.


We have tested the ability of protein I/II, an adhesin from oral streptococci, to stimulate the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines by synovial cells isolated from both rheumatoid arthritis and control patients. Protein I/II triggers synovial fluid cells to produce interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8 while secretion of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) was less enhanced. Using fibroblast-like synoviocytes, we found that protein I/II also exerts an immunomodulatory effect (IL-6 and IL-8 release) on these cells. These findings indicate that, if it gains access to the joint cavity, protein I/II could participate in the initiation and/or perpetuation of rheumatic diseases, by stimulating pro-inflammatory cytokine release from various synovial cells.

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