Increased activity of interleukin-23/interleukin-17 cytokine axis in primary antiphospholipid syndrome

Immunobiology. 2013 Feb;218(2):186-91. doi: 10.1016/j.imbio.2012.03.002. Epub 2012 Mar 28.


The aim of the study was to investigate serum concentrations of interleukin (IL)-17 and IL-17-inducing cytokines IL-23 and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β, as well as IL-17 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs2275913 in patients with primary antiphospholipid syndrome (PAPS). We studied fifty patients with PAPS and fifty age- and sex-matched healthy controls. The cytokine levels were measured by ELISA, while the rs2275913 SNP located in promoter region of IL-17 gene was genotyped using real-time PCR. The significantly higher levels of IL-17 (p=0.002), IL-23 (p<0.001) and TGF-β (p=0.042) were found in PAPS patients (median 13.1, 9.4, and 125.6 pg/ml, respectively) compared to the control group (6.8, 4.9 and 44.4 pg/ml). There was a significant positive correlation between concentrations of IL-17 and IL-23 (r=0.540, p<0.001), but not between those of IL-17 and TGF-β. No statistically significant differences were observed in the distribution of genotypes and alleles of the IL-17 rs2275913 variants in patients with PAPS compared to healthy subjects. The blood concentrations of IL-17 did not differ in subjects with different rs2275913 genotypes or patients with or without antiphospholipid antibodies. Finally, a trend toward higher IL-17 levels (p=0.063) and the significantly higher IL-17 concentrations (p=0.012) were observed in PAPS patients with deep vein thrombosis and thrombocytopenia, respectively. These data demonstrate that IL-23/IL-17 axis, stimulated independently of TGF-β increase IL-17A gene polymorphism and antiphospholipid antibody production, might contribute to vascular manifestations of PAPS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / genetics
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / immunology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-17 / blood
  • Interleukin-17 / genetics
  • Interleukin-17 / immunology*
  • Interleukin-23 / blood
  • Interleukin-23 / immunology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation / genetics
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • Th17 Cells / immunology*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / blood
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / immunology


  • Interleukin-17
  • Interleukin-23
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta