Role of Cytokines in the Pathogenesis of Anemia of Chronic Disease in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, 451 10, Greece
Clinical Immunology (Impact Factor: 3.99). 09/1999; DOI: 10.1006/clim.1999.4736

ABSTRACT The aim of our study was to evaluate the role of proinflammatory cytokines: tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), and interleukin-6 (IL-6), as well as the possible contribution of interleukin-10 (IL-10) in anemia of chronic disease (ACD) of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. We measured the serum levels of TNFα, IL-1β, and IL-6 in 105 anemic and 127 nonanemic RA patients. We also investigated the effects of the above cytokines on the development of burst-forming units–erythroid (BFUe) and colony-forming units–erythroid (CFUe) in bone marrow cultures. Anemic patients had significantly higher serum levels of TNFα, IL-1β, and IL-6 compared to nonanemics. Serum IL-10 levels were low and there was no significant difference in IL-10 concentrations between anemic and nonanemic patients. Proinflammatory cytokines inhibited proliferation of BFUe and CFUe. IL-10 did not decrease the erythroid colony growth. Proinflammatory cytokines may play a role in the pathogenesis of ACD in RA patients. Low levels of IL-10 possibly contribute to the development of ACD.

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