Objective: To assess sequential changes of synovial membrane interleukin 1 beta (IL-1 beta) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis receiving chrysotherapy and glucocorticoids.
Methods: Sequential synovial biopsies taken before and after 2 and 12 weeks of treatment were analyzed by immunohistological techniques.
Results: Significant decreases in IL-1 beta staining occurred in biopsies taken after 12 weeks' chrysotherapy, while mononuclear cell numbers were unchanged. Results were similar in patients receiving glucocorticoid and gold, and in those receiving gold alone.
Conclusion: These data suggest that chrysotherapy reduces IL-1 beta production in vivo, a property that has been shown in vitro, and that this change precedes changes in synovial membrane mononuclear cell numbers.