A novel susceptibility locus in the IL12B region is associated with the pathophysiology of Takayasu arteritis through IL-12p40 and IL-12p70 production

Arthritis Res Ther. 2017 Sep 6;19(1):197. doi: 10.1186/s13075-017-1408-8.


Background: A previous study revealed the association between susceptibility to Takayasu arteritis (TAK) and a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs6871626 located in IL12B, which encodes interleukin (IL)-12p40, a common component of IL-12p70 and IL-23. We investigated the expression of these cytokines in patients with TAK, stratifying them into those with or without the risk allele at the rs6871626 SNP.

Methods: Plasma levels of IL-12p40, IL-12p70, and IL-23 were quantified in 44 patients with TAK and 19 healthy controls (HCs) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Monocytes were obtained from 20 patients with TAK and 14 HCs, treated with interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and lipopolysaccharide, and then supernatant cytokines were quantified. In addition, the ratio of IFN-γ+ or IL-17A+ cells to CD4+ T cells was measured by flow cytometric analysis of peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

Results: The levels of plasma IL-12p40, plasma IL-12p70, and supernatant IL-12p70 were significantly higher in patients with TAK than in HCs, whereas there were no significant differences in the levels of plasma IL-23, supernatant IL-23, or supernatant IL-12p40. The levels of plasma IL-12p70, supernatant IL-12p40, and supernatant IL-12p70 were significantly higher in patients with the risk allele than in those without. The ratio of CD4+IFN-γ+ cells was significantly higher in patients with the risk allele, whereas CD4+IL-17A+ cells showed no differences.

Conclusions: The rs6871626 SNP in IL12B may influence the increased expression of IL-12p40 and IL-12p70. These enhanced cytokines might play roles in the pathophysiology of TAK.

Keywords: Interleukin-12; Monocytes; Single nucleotide polymorphism; Takayasu arteritis; Vasculitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Female
  • Genetic Loci / genetics*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-12 / blood
  • Interleukin-12 / genetics*
  • Interleukin-12 Subunit p40 / blood
  • Interleukin-12 Subunit p40 / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics
  • Takayasu Arteritis / blood
  • Takayasu Arteritis / genetics*
  • Takayasu Arteritis / physiopathology


  • Biomarkers
  • Interleukin-12 Subunit p40
  • Interleukin-12