Activation of the JAK/STAT pathway in Behcet's disease

Genes Immun. 2015 Mar;16(2):170-5. doi: 10.1038/gene.2014.64. Epub 2014 Nov 20.


Th1/Th17-type T-cell responses are upregulated in Behcet's disease (BD). However, signaling pathways associated with this aberrant immune response are not clarified. Whole-genome microarray profiling was performed with human U133 (Plus 2.0) chips using messenger RNA of isolated CD14(+) monocytes and CD4(+) T cells from peripheral blood mononucleated cell (PBMC) in patients with BD (n = 9) and healthy controls (HCs) (n = 9). Flow cytometric analysis of unstimulated (US) and stimulated (phytohaemagglutinin) signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT3) and pSTAT3 expressions of PBMCs were also analyzed (BD and HC, both n = 26). Janus family of kinase (JAK1) was observed to be upregulated in both CD14(+) monocytes (1.95-fold) and CD4(+) T lymphocytes (1.40-fold) of BD patients. Using canonical pathway enrichment analysis, JAK/STAT signaling was identified as activated in both CD14(+) monocytes (P = 9.55E-03) and in CD4(+) lymphocytes (P =8.13E-04) in BD. Interferon signaling was also prominent among upregulated genes in CD14(+) monocytes (P = 5.62E-05). Glucocorticoid receptor signaling and interleukin (IL-6) signaling were among the most enriched pathways in differentially expressed genes in CD14+ monocytes (P = 2.45E-09 and 1.00E-06, respectively). Basal US total STAT3 expression was significantly higher in BD (1.2 vs 3.45, P < 0.05). The JAK1/STAT3 signaling pathway is activated in BD, possibly through the activation of Th1/Th17-type cytokines such as IL-2, interferon (IFN-γ), IL-6, IL-17 and IL-23.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behcet Syndrome / enzymology
  • Behcet Syndrome / genetics
  • Behcet Syndrome / immunology
  • Behcet Syndrome / metabolism*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Interleukins / metabolism
  • Janus Kinase 1 / immunology
  • Janus Kinase 1 / metabolism*
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors / immunology
  • Male
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / immunology
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / immunology


  • Interleukins
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • STAT3 protein, human
  • JAK1 protein, human
  • Janus Kinase 1