Objective: In a sibpair study of osteoarthritis (OA) patients, we investigated whether, upon stimulation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), variations in the innate ex vivo production of interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra), IL-10, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) in whole-blood assays contribute to the risk of OA.
Methods: Data from 305 patients with OA at multiple sites (hand, knee, hip, and spine), whose median age was 60 years (range 43-79 years), were compared with those from 137 controls. OA was defined in accordance with the American College of Rheumatology criteria. Whole-blood samples were stimulated with LPS (10 ng/ml). In the supernatants, cytokines were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Odds ratios (ORs) were used as measures of the relative risk of OA in relation to quartiles of IL-1beta, IL-1Ra, TNFalpha, and IL-10 production. The ORs were adjusted for sex and age, and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were computed using robust standard errors to take into account the intrafamily effect.
Results: Subjects in the highest quartile of IL-1beta and IL-1Ra had an increased risk of OA (OR 3.3, 95% CI 1.4-7.9 and OR 8.0, 95% CI 3.7-17.4, respectively), while subjects in the lowest quartile of IL-10 had a 3-fold increased risk of OA (OR 3.1, 95% CI 1.5-6.5). High innate ex vivo production of TNFalpha was not associated with an increased risk of OA.
Conclusion: Subjects with a high innate ex vivo production of IL-1beta and IL-1Ra and low innate ex vivo production of IL-10 have an increased risk of OA. These results suggest that a proportion of the genetic susceptibility to OA may be encoded for by variations in innate cytokine activity.