Cytokine profiles in acute myeloid leukemia patients at diagnosis: survival is inversely correlated with IL-6 and directly correlated with IL-10 levels

Cytokine. 2013 Mar;61(3):885-91. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2012.12.023. Epub 2013 Jan 26.


Background: Several evidences support the existence of cytokine deregulation in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients that may be associated with pathogenesis, disease progression and patient survival.

Methods: In the present study, we analyzed plasma levels of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in AML patients and age-matched healthy donors. TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1β, IL-2, IFN-γ, IL-17A, IL-12p70, IL-8, IL-10, IL-4 and IL-5 were analyzed using fluorescent bead-based technology and TGF-β by ELISA technique. Because age-associated differences in cytokine profiles have been described, patients and healthy individuals were divided into two age groups: up to 65 years and over 65 years.

Results: Our results showed that plasma TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-10 levels were higher in AML patients from both groups of age. IL-8 was increased in AML patients less than 65 years while the plasma concentrations of IL-4, IL-5 and IL-12p70 were significantly higher only in elderly AML patients compared with aged-matched healthy controls. Moreover, plasma levels of IL-6 and IL-10 were associated with patient survival and event-free survival.

Conclusions: An aberrant production of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-α and the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 is observed in AML patients. Low levels of IL-6 and high levels of IL-10 represent favorable prognostic factors for survival in AML patients. These results support the idea that cytokine deregulation may be useful as a marker for predicting clinical evolution in AML patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blast Crisis / blood
  • Blast Crisis / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-10 / blood*
  • Interleukin-6 / blood*
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate*
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / blood*
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / diagnosis*
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / pathology
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / therapy
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • IL10 protein, human
  • IL6 protein, human
  • Interleukin-6
  • Interleukin-10