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Circulating IL-27 Is Elevated in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

Department of Laboratory Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016, China
Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Chun Kwok Wong
Molecules 2016, 21(11), 1565;
Received: 25 August 2016 / Revised: 4 November 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 18 November 2016
PDF [1166 KB, uploaded 18 November 2016]


Cytokines are key immunoregulatory molecules that regulate T lymphocyte-mediated immune responses and inflammatory reactions. We determined whether there is aberrant expression of interleukin-27 (IL-27) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and investigated the clinical significance of these changes. IL-27 is a key cellular factor that regulates the differentiation of CD4+ T cells, which can secrete interleukin-10 (IL-10) and interleukin-17 (IL-17) in vivo. Concentrations of serum IL-27 in 67 RA patients, and 36 sex- and age-matched control subjects were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results showed that concentrations of serum IL-27 in all RA patients were significantly higher than in healthy control subjects, and there was a significant and positive correlation between serum IL-27 levels and disease activity in all RA patients. Levels of serum IL-27 in RA patients were significantly correlated with disease activity score in 28 joints (DAS28). Moreover, immunosuppressive treatment with leflunomide downregulated the levels of IL-27 in active RA patients. Therefore, the elevated production of circulating T cell inflammatory factors contributes to the pathogenesis of RA, and serum IL-27 could potentially serve as a new biomarker of RA disease activity. View Full-Text
Keywords: IL-27; rheumatoid arthritis; inflammation; immune response; disease activity IL-27; rheumatoid arthritis; inflammation; immune response; disease activity

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Lai, X.; Wang, H.; Cao, J.; Li, Y.; Dai, Y.; Xiang, Y.; Zhang, L. Circulating IL-27 Is Elevated in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients. Molecules 2016, 21, 1565.

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