Leukocyte apheresis primarily used for treatment of inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Beside an effect of the apheresis column, the plastic lines in the apheresis system might also have an effect due to interaction between the plastic surfaces and circulating leukocytes and plasma proteins. We recently reported generation of LL-37 in the plastic lines during leukocyte adsorbing apheresis. This generation might have a positive impact on the immunologic tolerance and therefore be one operational mechanism by which the apheresis treatment executes its effect. In the present study, we report a significant generation of sIL-1RI in the apheresis lines that is initially absorbed by the LCAP device. This finding, together with our previous data on IL-1Ra indicate that important members of the IL-1 family are significantly altered during the LCAP treatment of patients with IBD. Since IL-1 and its antagonists are important for regulation of inflammatory processes in IBD, we speculate that the LCAP related changes in sIL-1RI and IL-1Ra might impact the clinical outcome. These findings have to be taken into consideration when designing new apheresis techniques as well as sham-controlled studies.
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