Serum interleukin-16 and RANTES during treatment of Graves' orbitopathy with corticosteroids and teleradiotherapy

Endokrynol Pol. 2012;63(2):92-6.


Introduction: To assess the usefulness of circulating IL-16 and RANTES measurements as markers of Graves' orbitopathy (GO) activity and to estimate the role of these cytokines in GO pathogenesis.

Material and methods: 42 individuals were divided into four groups: Group 1 comprised 15 euthyroid patients with clinical symptoms of GO who underwent corticosteroid therapy consisting of intravenous infusions of methylprednisolone (MP) and teleradiotherapy (TR); Group 2 comprised ten patients with hyperthyroid GD (Gtx); Group 3 comprised ten patients with GD in euthyreosis (Geu); and Group 4 comprised seven healthy volunteers age- and sex-matched to Groups 1-3. Serum samples were collected 24 hours before the first dose of MP, 24 hours after the first dose of MP, before TR, and at the end of therapy. Serum IL-16 and RANTES were determined by ELISA and TSH-Rab by RIA.

Results: Serum IL-16 levels in patients with GO were significantly elevated at the end of therapy: 346 pg/mL (257-538) compared to IL-16 values before treatment: 250 ng/mL (211-337) and to the control group. RANTES serum concentrations did not significantly differ between studied groups, and immunosuppressive treatment did not influence its level. A negative correlation between TSH-Rab and RANTES was found in all studied groups (R = -0.32, p 〈 0.01).

Conclusions: Our data suggests that IL-16 may exert an immunoregulatory effect in Graves' orbitopathy. Serum measurements of both IL-16 and RANTES may be clinically useful; however, establishing their place in the diagnostics and treatment monitoring of GO needs further research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chemokine CCL5 / blood*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use*
  • Graves Ophthalmopathy / blood
  • Graves Ophthalmopathy / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Interleukin-16 / blood*
  • Male
  • Methylprednisolone / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Radioimmunoassay / methods
  • Radioisotope Teletherapy / methods*
  • Receptors, Thyrotropin / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, Thyrotropin / immunology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Chemokine CCL5
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Interleukin-16
  • Receptors, Thyrotropin
  • Methylprednisolone