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Elevated serum levels of Interleukin‐37 are associated with inflammatory cytokines and disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis

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Interleukin‐37 (IL‐37) is closely associated with several inflammatory diseases. However, the role of IL‐37 in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) remains unclear. The aim of this study was to assess the associations between serum levels of IL‐37 and disease activity, inflammatory cytokines, and bone loss in patients with RA. Serum cytokines levels were examined by Enzyme‐linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Radiographic bone erosion was assessed using the van der Heijde‐modified Sharp score and bone mineral density (BMD) was measured using DXA. Serum IL‐37 levels in RA patients were significantly higher than those in HCs (p < 0.001), and were significantly positively correlated with clinical parameters of disease activity and serum levels of IL‐17 and IL‐23. In addition, serum IL‐37 levels were significantly higher in patients with stage IV of radiographic bone erosion than those with stage III and stage I–II, and they were significantly higher in those with osteopenia and osteoporosis than in those with normal BMD. Our results suggest that serum IL‐37 levels were increased in patients with RA and were positively associated with disease activity, IL‐17/IL‐23 and bone loss in RA, suggesting that IL‐37 may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of RA.
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Keywords: Interleukin‐37; bone loss; inflammatory cytokines; rheumatoid arthritis

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2015

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