High levels of neutralizing autoantibodies against IL-1 alpha are associated with a better prognosis in chronic polyarthritis: a follow-up study

Scand J Immunol. 1997 Oct;46(4):413-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-3083.1997.d01-139.x.


Neutralizing autoantibodies to interleukin (IL)-1 alpha were detected in a subset of chronic polyarthritis patients characterized by an increased proportion of patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome or self-limiting inflammatory arthritis, diseases with a much better prognosis than rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The evolution of anti-IL-1 alpha antibody levels was followed over 3 years. Incidence and levels were higher in patients with a benign form of polyarthritis. In these patients levels remained stable or increased over the follow-up period. In contrast, incidence and levels were lower and some RA patients became negative. Negative correlations were observed between the levels of anti-IL-1 alpha antibodies and the clinical and biological indices of disease activity. The relative risk factor of developing RA was 12 in the absence of high anti-IL-1 alpha antibody levels and 18.2 when associated with the presence of HLA-DR4. In conclusion, the presence of anti-IL-1 alpha autoantibodies appears to be protective and their detection could represent a marker of good prognosis for destruction.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis / blood
  • Arthritis / immunology*
  • Autoantibodies / biosynthesis
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1 / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Precipitin Tests
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis


  • Autoantibodies
  • Interleukin-1