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Rheumatology (Oxford). 2009 Sep;48(9):1102-6. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kep149. Epub 2009 Jul 2.

Cytokine and autoantibody profiling related to histopathological features in primary Sjogren's syndrome.

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1
Broegelmann Research Laboratory, The Gade Institute, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway. tove.reksten@gades.uib.no

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate a potential correlation between circulating cytokine and autoantibody levels and histopathological features in subgroups of patients with primary SS (pSS).

METHODS:

Minor salivary gland biopsies from a cohort of 141 patients fulfilling the American-European consensus classification criteria for pSS were re-examined and grouped according to focus score (FS) and germinal centre (GC) status; serum samples were analysed for autoantibodies, chemokines and cytokines.

RESULTS:

Of the 115 available biopsies, 18 (16%) lacked characteristic focal mononuclear cell infiltrates [FS < 1 (FS-)] but patients were positive for Ro/SSA and/or La/SSB. IL-17, IL-1RA, IL-15, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1alpha, MIP-1beta, eotaxin, IFN-alpha and IL-4 levels were significantly increased in the 27 (23%) patients with ectopic GC formation (GC+) in the salivary glands compared with the GC- patients (n = 70). In addition, minor differences in cytokine levels were found when comparing age groups.

CONCLUSION:

Degenerative changes observed in the minor salivary glands of patients with pSS may represent 'burned out' inflammation. The elevated levels of IL-4 found in these patients may influence the reduced salivary flow observed in GC+ patients. Increased titres of Th17-associated cytokines, IL-17, IL-1beta and the IL-23 subunit IL-12p40, may indicate a higher activity of these cells in GC+ patients. Differences in cytokine levels may be utilized when sub-grouping the SS patients into disease phases and may consequently have implications for treatment.

PMID:
19574472
DOI:
10.1093/rheumatology/kep149
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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