Interleukin-18 Binding Protein in the Sera of Patients with Wegener’s Granulomatosis
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- Novick, D., Elbirt, D., Dinarello, C.A. et al. J Clin Immunol (2009) 29: 38. doi:10.1007/s10875-008-9217-0
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In the present study, we examined the levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-18 and its natural inhibitor, the IL-18 binding protein (IL-18BP), in sera of Wegener’s granulomatosis (WG) patients at various stages of the disease.
Patients and Methods
Sera from eight consecutive biopsy-proven systemic WG patients (four men and four women; age at diagnosis 58.4 ± 13.8 years) were obtained longitudinally with a follow-up period of 55.2 ± 30 months. Sera obtained from 50 healthy subjects were used as controls.
Results and Discussion
Serum levels of IL-18, IL-18BP, and free IL-18 obtained during an active phase of the disease (Birmingham Vasculitis Activity Score, BVAS > 10) were more than twofold higher than levels in the same patients during inactive disease stages (BVAS < 5; P < 0.002; P < 0.006, and P < 0.03 for IL-18, IL-18BP, and free IL-18, respectively). During inactive stages, the levels of these markers were comparable to those of healthy controls. The elevated levels of IL-18 and IL-18BP in sera during active stages of disease suggest a possible role in the pathogenesis and course of the WG.
Despite the elevated IL-18BP levels during active disease, free IL-18 remained higher than in the inactive disease stages, suggesting a potential benefit of administration of exogenous IL-18BP as a novel therapeutic approach for active WG.