Aberrant expression of interleukin-10 in rheumatoid arthritis: Relationship withIL10haplotypes and autoantibodies

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Interleukin 10 (IL-10) is an immunomodulatory cytokine that plays a central role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. Different studies consistently show increased IL-10 serum levels in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and it appears to be caused by genetic variants. Three polymorphisms situated at positions −1082, −819 and −592 of IL10 gene and its major haplotypes have been associated with regulating IL10 promoter activity. In this study, we evaluated whether IL10 haplotypes are associated with mRNA expression and IL-10 serum levels as well as susceptibility to RA in a Western Mexican population. A total of 240 RA patients and 240 control subjects (CS) were included. Genotyping of IL10 polymorphisms was performed by PCR and PCR-RFLP, respectively. IL10 mRNA expression was determined by real-time PCR and IL-10 serum levels were measured using an ELISA kit. IL10 mRNA expression was 50-fold higher in RA patients than CS (p < 0.001), while IL-10 serum levels did not show differences between groups. However, high IL-10 serum levels were positively related to a higher seropositivity for rheumatoid factor (FR) and anti-CCP antibodies (p < 0.05). No significant differences between the distribution of haplotype frequencies were observed between both study groups, but GCC haplotype was associated with higher IL-10 serum levels compared with the ACC and ATA haplotypes in RA patients (p < 0.05). In addition, patients carrying ATA and GCC haplotypes showed higher mRNA expression than ACC (5.4-fold and 8.8-fold, respectively) and surprisingly, this trend was reversed in the controls, although it was not significant. In conclusion, our findings suggest that IL10 (GCC, ACC, and ATA) haplotypes may not be a susceptibility marker for RA in a population from Western Mexico. Nevertheless, independently of the presence of these variants, there is an aberrant overexpression of IL10 gene in RA, and it may play an important role in the pathogenesis of RA.

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