T cell derived cytokines in psoriatic arthritis synovial fluids

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The aim of this study was to investigate the concentrations of T cell derived cytokines in the synovial fluids (SFs) of patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in comparison with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA).


Th1 type cytokines (interleukin 2 (IL2), tumour necrosis factor beta (TNF beta), and interferon gamma (INF gamma)) and Th2 type cytokines (IL4, IL10) were measured by means of enzyme linked immunosorbent assays.


IL2 was usually not detectable in any of the disease groups. TNF beta was found in 3 of 31 PsA SFs (mean (SEM) 11.1 (2.3) pg/ml) and in a significantly lower concentration than in 20 of the 40 RA SFs (42.2 (15.6) pg/ml; p < 0.002). INF gamma was measurable in 2 of 10 PsA and 6 of 16 RA SFs (p > 0.05). IL4 was present at low concentrations in 4 of 22 PsA SFs (0.41 (0.8) pg/ml), and in 15 of 20 RA SFs (0.63 (0.09) pg/ml; p < 0.01). IL10 was found in 4 of 27 PsA SFs (12.3 (0.9) pg/ml) and in 27 of 32 RA SFs (37.3 (4.9) pg/ml; p < 0.0001). In all OA SFs cytokine concentrations were below the limit of detection.


The pattern of T cell derived cytokines in PsA SFs was similar to that of RA SFs. However, both the frequency and the concentrations of cytokines were lower in PsA SFs than in RA SFs, while OA SFs generally lacked any detectable T cell cytokines altogether. The presence of Th1 and Th2 cell derived cytokines in PsA SFs suggests the presence of activated T cells in the inflamed joint tissues and their participation in the immunoinflammatory events.

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