Journal of Clinical Immunology

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 38–45

Interleukin-18 Binding Protein in the Sera of Patients with Wegener’s Granulomatosis


DOI: 10.1007/s10875-008-9217-0

Cite this article as:
Novick, D., Elbirt, D., Dinarello, C.A. et al. J Clin Immunol (2009) 29: 38. doi:10.1007/s10875-008-9217-0



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.



Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Molecular GeneticsThe Weizmann Institute of ScienceRehovotIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Medicine BKaplan Medical Center RehovotRehovotIsrael
  3. 3.Division of Infectious DiseasesUniversity of ColoradoDenverUSA
  4. 4.Department of Medicine B Allergy and Clinical ImmunologyKaplan Medical Center RehovotRehovotIsrael