Corticosteroid inhibits chemokines production in systemic sclerosis patients

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In this study, we evaluated glucocorticoids (GC) effects on cytokine/chemokine levels in serum samples and peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) production from systemic sclerosis (SSc) patients. We evaluated cytokine and chemokine levels in serum samples from SSc patients taking or not taking systemic glucocorticoids. PBMCs response to methylprednisolone (MP) was examined from 15 SSc patients and 8 healthy control subjects following PBMC stimulation with anti-CD3/CD28. Cytokine (IFN-γ, TNF, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, and IL-17A) and chemokine (CXCL8/IL-8, CCL5/RANTES, CXCL9/MIG, CCL2/MCP-1, and CXCL10/IP-10) levels were quantified in serum and in PBMC culture supernatants by CBA or ELISA. Compared with patients not taking corticosteroids, we did not observe any significant differences in cytokines/chemokines serum levels in patients using systemic corticosteroids. After stimulation with anti-CD3/CD28, PBMCs treated with MP (100 μM), showed a significant reduction of CCL2/MCP-1 (p = 0.001), CCL5/RANTES (p = 0.04), and CXCL8/IL-8 (p = 0.003) levels in SSc patients. In PBMC from healthy controls, we observed decreased IFN-γ, TNF, IL-2, and IL-10 levels after MP treatment, compared with stimulated condition (p < 0.01 for all). However in SSc patients, we did not find any significant reduction in these cytokine levels after MP treatment. In conclusion, CCL2/MCP-1, CCL5/RANTES, and CXCL8/IL-8 are chemokines that are potentially modulated by corticosteroids in vitro in SSc patients, but no effect was observed on IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IL-17A, TFN, and IFN-γ secretion. These results suggest a potential effect of GCs on SSc treatment and may reflect the benefit of their use in some patients.

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