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Rheumatol Int. 2001 Oct;21(2):69-74.

Serum interleukin-12, interleukin-15, soluble CD26, and adenosine deaminase in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biology, University of Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain.


CD26, a transmembrane ectoenzyme, is overexpressed on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) peripheral blood T cells. As it has been recently described that IL-12 and IL-15 upregulate CD26 in vitro, we hypothesized that this CD26 overexpression might be interleukin dependent. The concentrations of IL-12 and IL-15, and soluble CD26 and adenosine deaminase (enzymes related to CD26) were analyzed in the serum of 35 patients with active and inactive RA and of healthy control subjects. IL-12 and IL-15 levels were significantly higher in patients' serum, independently of disease activity, even in patients on steroid therapy, i.e., the present therapies cannot eradicate their origin. Soluble CD26 was significantly reduced and related to the disease activity. In particular, it correlated inversely with the number of swollen joints. Although these data did not support our hypothesis, they support that interleukins not only initiate RA pathology but they can also participate in the maintenance of this immune response.

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