Elevated IL-4 and IFN-γ Levels in Muscle Tissue of Patients with Dermatomyositis

In Vivo. Jul-Aug 2017;31(4):657-660. doi: 10.21873/invivo.11108.


Background/aim: To investigate the contribution of muscle tissue-derived cytokines in dermatomyositis (DM).

Materials and methods: Muscle homogenates were prepared from deltoid muscle biopsy specimens of 10 patients with DM and eight controls with no pathological signs of myopathy. Interleukin (IL)-4, interferon (IFN)-γ and IL-17 levels were evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and immunoblotting analysis. Muscle strength grades were recorded.

Results: Patients with DM showed significantly elevated muscle tissue IL-4 and IFN-γ levels, whereas IL-17 levels were comparable between patients with DM and controls. Immunoblotting studies confirmed ELISA results. In DM muscle specimens, IL-4 and IFN-γ levels were positively correlated, while no correlation was observed between IL-17 and the other two cytokines. Moreover, IL-4 and IFN-γ levels were significantly negative correlated with muscle strength grades for the deltoid muscle.

Conclusion: Our results confirm the involvement of T helper (Th) 1-type and Th2-type immunity in DM pathogenesis. Muscle tissue appears to contribute to muscle weakness in DM by producing inflammatory cytokines.

Keywords: Dermatomyositis; ELISA; inerleukin-17; interferon-gamma; interleukin-4.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy
  • Deltoid Muscle / metabolism
  • Deltoid Muscle / pathology
  • Dermatomyositis / genetics*
  • Dermatomyositis / pathology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / genetics
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Interferon-gamma / genetics*
  • Interleukin-17 / genetics*
  • Interleukin-4 / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscles / metabolism
  • Muscles / pathology


  • IFNG protein, human
  • IL4 protein, human
  • Interleukin-17
  • Interleukin-4
  • Interferon-gamma