Objective: To analyse proinflammatory Th1 and Th2 cytokines in patients with Behçet's disease (BD) in relation to disease activity.
Methods: Forty-five BD patients (25 in active stage) were investigated with ELISA for estimation of cytokines levels. Furthermore, cytokines intracellular synthesis (IL-4 and IFN-gamma) of CD4+ T cells was studied.
Results: Active and in remission BD patients showed increased serum levels of Th1 (IFN-gamma, IL-12) and Th2 (IL-4, IL-6 and IL-10) cytokines. Active BD was characterized by a higher increase of IL-6, IL-10 and a striking increase of IL-17, IL-18 and IFN-gamma, compared to remission RD. Upon in vitro stimulation, the percentages of CD4+ T cells containing IFN-gamma and CD40L were higher in active BD compared to healthy controls.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that the microenvironment of CD4+ T cells in active BD may induce the production of more cells committed to Th1 than in BD patients in remission and healthy controls.