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Interleukin-6 signalling in juvenile idiopathic arthritis is limited by proteolytically cleaved soluble interleukin-6 receptor

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Nicholas Peake, Dr Andrea Myers, Emeritus Professor Drew Rowan, Emeritus Professor Tim Cawston, Emerita Professor Helen Foster

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Abstract

Ojectives. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) exerts multiple effects on chondrocytes and fibroblasts within the joint and is associated with disease activity in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Although these cells express the ubiquitous signalling receptor for all IL-6-related cytokines, gp130, they do not express a cognate IL-6 receptor. Consequently, IL-6 responses within these cells occur via IL-6 trans-signalling relying on the presence of a soluble receptor (sIL-6R). Levels of sIL-6R in vivo are governed by either proteolytic cleavage (PC) of cognate receptor or by differential sIL-6R mRNA splicing (DS). The aim of this study was to evaluate the contribution of both isoforms to clinical parameters associated with IL-6 signalling in JIA. Methods. IL-6, sIL-6R and DS-sIL-6R were measured by ELISA in serum and synovial fluid (SF) samples from 86 JIA patients. These data were related to indicators of inflammation-erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) and compared between patients stratified by subtype, age and disease duration. Results. SF IL-6 significantly correlated with general indicators of activity (ESR and CRP) and SF PC-sIL-6R to a lesser degree with CRP. When the IL-6:sIL-6R ratio was calculated as an indicator of the potential for IL-6 signalling within the joint, 33% of SF samples showed a ratio > 1 indicating saturation of sIL-6R by IL-6. Mean DS-sIL-6R levels were 0.71 ng/ml, whereas PC-sIL-6R levels constituted the majority of sIL-6R at 20.89 ng/ml. Conclusions. IL-6 trans-signalling within the joints of JIA patients is predominantly governed by the presence of PC-sIL-6R, and the data provided suggest that synovial levels of IL-6 and sIL-6R would be sufficient to drive IL-6 responses in chondrocytes and synovial fibroblasts.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Peake NJ, Khawaja K, Myers A, Nowell MA, Jones SA, Rowan AD, Cawston TE, Foster HE

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Rheumatology

Year: 2006

Volume: 45

Issue: 12

Pages: 1485-1489

ISSN (print): 0080-2727

ISSN (electronic): 1662-3959

Publisher: S. Karger AG

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/kel154

DOI: 10.1093/rheumatology/kel154


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