Increased IL-33 in synovial fluid and paired serum is associated with disease activity and autoantibodies in rheumatoid arthritis

Sumei Tang, Heqing Huang, Fanlei Hu, Wei Zhou, Jianping Guo, Huirong Jiang, Rong Mu, Zhanguo Li

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Objectives. IL-33, a newly found cytokine which is involved in joint inflammation, could be blocked by a decoy receptor—sST2. The expression and correlation of IL-33 and sST2 in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are of great interest. Methods. Synovial fluid (SF) was obtained from 120 RA and 30 osteoarthritis (OA) patients, and paired sera were collected from 54 of these RA patients. The levels of IL-33 and sST2 were measured by ELISA. Results. SF IL-33 was significantly higher in RA than in OA, which was correlated with disease activity score 28, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, rheumatoid factor (RF)-IgM, RF-IgG, glucose phosphate isomerase (GPI), and immunoglobulin. Serum IL-33 was correlated positively with SF IL-33 in RA. Furthermore, it was correlated with RF-IgM and GPI. sST2 was partly detectable in RA (13 out of 54, 24.1%), while not in OA. Serum sST2 in RA had no significant correlation with serum IL-33 or SF IL-33. However, SFs from both RA and OA patients did not express sST2. Conclusions. This study supported that IL-33 played an important role in the local pathogenesis of RA. Considering the tight correlation between IL-33 and clinical features, it may become a new target of local treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number985301
Number of pages6
JournalClinical and Developmental Immunology
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2013


  • IL-33
  • cytokine
  • joint inflammation
  • rheumatoid arthritis

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