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The production of anti-inflammatory cytokines in whole blood by physico-chemical induction


Objective and design: Cytokines such as interleukin-1 (IL-1) play an important role in degenerative musculo-skeletal diseases, including osteoarthritis, and a multitude of inflammatory disorders. Agents that inhibit the action of such cytokines have a high therapeutic potential in such diseases. Here we describe a new method for enhancing the production of the interleukin-l receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) and other anti-inflammatory cytokines in whole blood.

Material and methods: Human venous blood was incubated in the presence of CrSO4-treated glass beads. Serum was recovered and the concentrations of IL-1Ra and other relevant cytokines were measured by ELISA.

Results: The interaction of the glass bead surface with cells in whole blood increased production of IL-1Ra and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Removal of the beads and centrifugation generated a serum preparation enriched in anti-inflammatory cytokines. This preparation is of therapeutic value in treating various inflammatory and degenerative disorders.

Conclusions: The increased de novo production of anti-inflammatory cytokines by a direct physico-chemical induction of whole blood in the Orthokin system is feasible and offers an alternative, novel approach to treating mild to moderate OA and other orthopaedic conditions such as degenerative spine diseases.

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Correspondence to P. Wehling.

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Received 20 December 2002; returned for revision 25 March 2003; accepted by J. Skotnicki 1 June 2003

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Meijer, H., Reinecke, J., Becker, C. et al. The production of anti-inflammatory cytokines in whole blood by physico-chemical induction. Inflamm. res. 52, 404–407 (2003).

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  • Cytokine
  • Degenerative spine disease
  • IL-1Ra
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Orthokine