Helsingin yliopisto


Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006

Studies on immune activation in rheumatoid arthritis and reactive arthritis

Antti Kuuliala

Doctoral dissertation, March 2006.
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine, Haartman Institute, Department of Bacteriology and Immunology.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease characterized by synovitis, progressive joint destruction, and disability. Reactive arthritis (ReA) is a sterile joint inflammation following a distant mucosal infection. The clinical course of these diseases is variable and cannot be predicted with reasonable accuracy by clinical and laboratory markers.

The predictive value of circulating soluble interleukin-2 receptor (sIL-2R), a marker of lymphocyte activation, measured by ImmuliteŽ automated immunoassay analyzer, was evaluated in two cohorts of RA patients. In 175 patients with active early RA randomized to treatment with either on disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) or a combination of 3 DMARDs and prednisolone, low baseline sIL-2R level predicted remission after 6 months in patients treated with a single DMARD. In 24 patients with active RA refractory to DMARDs, low baseline sIL-2R level predicted rapid clinical response to treatment with infliximab, an anti-tumour necrosis factor antibody. Furthermore, in a cohort of 26 patients with acute ReA, high baseline sIL-2R level predicted remission after 6 months.

Levels of circulating soluble E-selectin (sE-selectin), a marker of endothelial activation, were measured annually by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in a cohort of 85 patients with early RA. During a five-year follow-up, sE-selectin levels were associated with activity and outcome of RA.

The levels of neutrophil and monocyte CD11b/CD18 expression measured by flow cytometry, and circulating levels of sE-selectin measured by ELISA, and procalcitonin by immunoluminometric assay, were compared in 28 patients with acute ReA and 16 patients with early RA. The levels of the markers were comparable in ReA, RA, and healthy control subjects.

In conlusion, sIL-2R may provide a new predictive marker in early RA treated with a single DMARD and refractory RA treated with infliximab. In addition, sIL-2R level predicts remission in acute ReA.

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Last updated 28.02.2006

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