Behcet’s disease (BD) is a chronic multisystem autoimmune disorder. Various cytokines take part in the pathogenesis of this disease. Interleukin (IL)-38, a new member of IL-1 cytokine family, has been reported to have antiinflammatory properties; however, its role in BD has not been investigated yet. In this study, we aimed to examine the probable role of IL-38 in the clinical context of BD. A total of 81 patients with BD and 81 age- and sex-matched healthy subjects as controls were included in this study. The serum levels of IL-38 were measured in patients and controls sera using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The relationship between the serum levels of IL-38 and clinical and laboratory characteristics of the patients were determined. IL-38 serum levels were significantly lower in patients in comparison with healthy controls at P = 0.003. We found significant differences between IL-38 levels in BD patients with positive and negative pathergy tests (P = 0.048) and patients with and without eye involvement (P = 0.046). Despite the absence of significant differences in serum levels between male and female patients, IL-38 levels were higher in female patients with a positive pathergy test (P = 0.048) and those patients with eye involvement (P = 0.046). As healthy controls showed higher IL-38 serum levels than patients, a protective anti-inflammatory role of IL-38 in BD is suggested. Together, these results suggest that the positive relationship between IL-38 serum levels and eye involvement that IL-38 may play a role in this clinical feature of the disease.
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Research reported in this publication was supported by Elite Researcher Grant Committee under award number  from the National Institute for Medical Research Development (NIMAD), Tehran, Iran.
Conflicts of Interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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Zarrabi, M., Gholijani, N., Shenavandeh, S. et al. IL-38 serum levels in patients with Behcet’s disease and the relationship with clinical features. Eur Cytokine Netw 30, 82–87 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1684/ecn.2019.0430
- Behcet’s disease
- autoimmune disease