Effect of cyclosporin A on interleukin-6 and soluble interleukin-2 receptor in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

A. Crilly, S. Kolta, M. Dougados, R.D. Sturrock, B. Amor, H.A. Capell, R. Madhok

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OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of cyclosporin A (CyA) therapy on circulating concentrations of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and soluble interleukin-2 receptor (sIL-2R) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

METHODS: Twenty four RA patients with active disease were studied. Plasma was collected before and after 16 weeks of CyA treatment. IL-6 was measured by B9 bioassay and sIL-2R by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

RESULTS: The initial median IL-6 concentration of 165 IU/ml decreased significantly to 71 IU/ml after 16 weeks (p < 0.05). Similarly, the initial median plasma sIL-2R value of 665 U/ml decreased significantly to 570 U/ml (p < 0.05). This decrease was accompanied by an improvement in clinical parameters of disease activity. Some association between sIL-2R, IL-6, haemoglobin, and platelets was also observed.

CONCLUSIONS: This study has demonstrated that, in vivo, CyA therapy in RA can significantly reduce circulating concentrations of IL-6 and sIL-2R. Modulation of both T and non-T cell derived cytokines may be one mechanism by which CyA improves rheumatoid disease. Whether this is a direct effect of CyA on the cells within the rheumatoid joint producing these cytokines or an indirect effect mediated by other cytokines which can influence IL-6 and Il-2R values remains to be determined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-9
Number of pages3
JournalAnnals of the Rheumatic Diseases
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1995
Externally publishedYes



  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid
  • Cyclosporine
  • Female
  • Hemoglobins
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Platelet Count
  • Prospective Studies
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2

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