Rheumatology International

, Volume 27, Issue 9, pp 807–811 | Cite as

Serum proinflammatory cytokines directing T helper 1 polarization in patients with familial Mediterranean fever

  • Ismail SimsekEmail author
  • Salih Pay
  • Aysel Pekel
  • Ayhan Dinc
  • Ugur Musabak
  • Hakan Erdem
  • Ali Sengul
Original Article


Th1 type polarization has been implicated in the pathogenesis of familial Mediterranean fever (FMF). Interleukin-12 (IL-12) and IL-10 are proinflammatory cytokines, which play crucial role in Th1 and Th2 type immune response, respectively. IL-18 has a dual effect on T cell response: it was recognized as an IFN-γ-inducing factor in T cells; acting in synergy with IL-12, leading to the development of Th1 type immune responses. But, in the absence of IL-12, IL-18 can promote the production of Th2 cytokines and take part in allergic inflammation. The aim of this study is to measure serum levels of IL-10, IL-12, and IL-18 in patients with FMF, and to investigate the relationship of their expressions with FMF attacks. Serum IL-10, IL-12, and IL-18 levels from patients with FMF were investigated. Thirty-one FMF patients with attack-free, 24 FMF patients with attack and 20 healthy controls were enrolled in the study. The levels of IL-10, IL-12p70 and IL-18 were measured by ELISA. Serum IL-10 levels were not different in FMF patients with attack and attack-free, and healthy controls. Serum IL-12 levels in FMF patients both with attack and attack-free were significantly higher than healthy controls (P = 0.002 and P = 0.047, respectively). There were no differences between FMF patients with attack and attack-free with regard to serum IL-12 levels. Serum IL-18 levels in FMF patients with attack and attack-free were significantly higher than healthy controls (P < 0.001 for both groups). With respect to serum IL-18 levels, no difference was found between FMF patients with attack and attack-free. Our results suggest that IL-12 and IL-18 contribute to the establishment of Th1 polarization seen in FMF and play a part in its pathogenesis. Detection of increased levels of IL-12 and IL-18 in patients with inactive disease implies that they seem to assist Th1 activation and subclinical inflammation persisting during the attack-free period of the disease.


Familial Mediterranean Fever Familial Mediterranean Fever Patient MEFV Gene Type Immune Response Familial Mediterranean Fever Attack 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ismail Simsek
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Salih Pay
    • 1
  • Aysel Pekel
    • 2
  • Ayhan Dinc
    • 1
  • Ugur Musabak
    • 2
  • Hakan Erdem
    • 1
  • Ali Sengul
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of RheumatologyGulhane Military School of MedicineAnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.Division of ImmunologyGulhane Military School of MedicineAnkaraTurkey
  3. 3.GATA Romatoloji BDEtlik, AnkaraTurkey

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