A possible role for soluble IL-6 receptor in the pathogenesis of systemic onset juvenile chronic arthritis

Cytokine. 1998 Sep;10(9):729-34. doi: 10.1006/cyto.1997.0343.


Investigation of the agonist and two antagonists to interleukin 6 (IL-6) and their possible role in the pathogenesis of different sub-groups of juvenile chronic arthritis (JCA). Sera of 54 patients and 10 age-matched controls were tested: 20 with pauci-articular JCA, 12 with polyarticular JCA, and 22 systemic JCA. Interleukin 6, soluble interleukin 6 receptor (agonist), soluble gp130 and autoantibodies to IL-6 (antagonist to IL-6) were measured, as well as C-reactive protein as an indicator of disease activity. In addition, during fever two systemic JCA patients were analysed longitudinally for these parameters. There was a significant increase in soluble IL-6 receptor (sIL-6R) concentrations. No difference in the levels of soluble gp130 and autoantibodies to IL-6 in the systemic JCA group was found. In two patients the fever curves corresponded to the IL-6 levels measured. sIL-6R serum concentrations also showed a tendency to follow the fever. The authors have shown that in systemic JCA, the levels of sIL-6R, agonist of IL-6, were increased significantly compared to the other groups, while levels of antagonists to IL-6 were not changed in the face of increased levels of IL-6 in systemic JCA. These results suggest an imbalance of IL-6 homeostasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Juvenile / blood
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / classification
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / etiology*
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / physiopathology
  • Autoantibodies / blood
  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / blood
  • Autoimmune Diseases / classification
  • Autoimmune Diseases / etiology*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / physiopathology
  • Biomarkers
  • Fever / blood
  • Fever / etiology
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / immunology*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-6 / physiology*
  • Solubility


  • Autoantibodies
  • Biomarkers
  • Interleukin-6
  • Receptors, Interleukin-6