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Spondyloarthropathy and rheumatoid arthritis: two different diseases, a similar cytokine network


The reasons for the phenotypic differences between spondyloarthritis (SpA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are still unclear. Slight divergences in the cytokine networks might contribute to this and may be the key to new treatment approaches.


The main goal of this work was to compare serum and synovial cytokines and chemokines in established SpA and RA patients.

Patients and methods

IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12 (p70), IL-17A, IL-18, IL-21, IL-22, IL-23, IFN-γ, MCP-1, MIP-1α, OPG, sRANKL, TGF-β, TNF, APRIL and BAFF levels were measured in SpA (n=8) serum and compared with RA (n=10) and controls (n=24). Synovial fluid (SF) from SpA (n=8), RA (n=12) and osteoarthritis (OA) (n=10) patients were also analyzed.


No significant differences were found between SpA and RA, with the exception of higher levels of IL-21 in the SF of RA patients.


Our results suggest that although SpA and RA are chronic inflammatory diseases with different clinical manifestations, both share a similar cytokine profile, including Th17-related cytokines.

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R A Moura, R Cascão contributed equally to this work.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Moura, R.A., Cascão, R., Perpétuo, I. et al. Spondyloarthropathy and rheumatoid arthritis: two different diseases, a similar cytokine network. J Transl Med 8 (Suppl 1), P36 (2010).

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