Etanercept reduces the serum levels of interleukin-23 and macrophage inflammatory protein-3 alpha in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatol Int. 2007 Dec;28(2):137-43. doi: 10.1007/s00296-007-0388-4. Epub 2007 Jul 10.


The purpose of this study was to analyze the effect of the soluble TNF-alpha receptor etanercept on the serum levels of IL-16, IL-17, IL-23, and macrophage inflammatory protein-3alpha (MIP-3alpha) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Twenty-two patients with RA were administered etanercept once or twice a week for more than 6 months, and we evaluated clinical and laboratory parameters and serum levels of IL-16, IL-17, IL-23, and MIP-3alpha at the baseline and at 3 and 6 months. Additionally, the production of IL-23 and MIP-3alpha of cultured synovial cells stimulated with TNF-alpha from RA patients was determined by ELISA. We also used ELISA kits to determine synovial fluid (SF) levels of IL-17, IL-23, and MIP-3alpha in patients with RA, osteoarthritis (OA), pseudogouty arthritis (PGA), and gouty arthritis (GA). A significant decrease in serum levels of IL-23 and MIP-3alpha was observed at 3 and 6 months after initial treatment of etanercept. TNF-alpha induced MIP-3alpha but not IL-23 production in cultured synovial cells from RA patients. SF levels of IL-17, IL-23, and MIP-3alpha in RA patients showed significantly higher levels than those of OA, PGA, and GA patients. This study demonstrated that the reduction of IL-23 and MIP-3alpha production in RA patients was a newly determined function of etanercept.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antirheumatic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antirheumatic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Arthritis, Gouty / blood
  • Arthritis, Gouty / immunology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / blood*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Sedimentation
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chemokine CCL20 / blood*
  • Etanercept
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / administration & dosage
  • Immunoglobulin G / pharmacology*
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Interleukin-16 / blood
  • Interleukin-17 / blood
  • Interleukin-23 / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis / blood
  • Osteoarthritis / immunology
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / administration & dosage
  • Synovial Fluid / chemistry
  • Synovial Fluid / drug effects
  • Synovial Membrane / chemistry
  • Synovial Membrane / cytology
  • Synovial Membrane / drug effects


  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Biomarkers
  • Chemokine CCL20
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Interleukin-16
  • Interleukin-17
  • Interleukin-23
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Etanercept