Objective: To measure serum and synovial fluid (SF) levels of interleukin 8 (IL-8) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) in patients with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) and to compare them with adult rheumatoid factor-positive rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Methods: IL-8 and MCP-1 were measured by immunoassay (1) in sera obtained from 55 children with JRA and from 16 adults with RA, and (2) in SF obtained from 30 children with JRA and 11 adults with RA.
Results: Patients with active systemic JRA had serum levels of IL-8 and MCP-1 higher than in controls (p<0.01) and in patients with active polyarticular or pauciarticular JRA (p<0.05). In patients with RA serum MCP-1 levels were higher than in patients with the 3 JRA onset types, while no difference was found for IL-8 levels. Patients with systemic JRA and with current systemic features had serum levels of IL-8 and MCP-1 higher (p = 0.03 and p = 0.04, respectively) than patients in which systemic features had subsided. No significant differences in SF IL-8 or MCP-1 levels were found among the 3 JRA onset types or adults with RA. In patients with JRA SF leukocyte counts were correlated with SF IL-8 levels (p = 0.002), but not with MCP-1 levels. Moreover, SF levels of both IL-8 and MCP-1 were correlated with those of IL-1beta (p<0.001) and IL-6 (p<0.01), but not with those of TNF-alpha.
Conclusion: Elevated serum levels of IL-8 and MCP-1 in patients with systemic JRA with current systemic features at sampling suggest systemic production of the 2 chemokines during systemic phases of the disease. Similar SF levels of IL-8 and MCP-1 among the 3 JRA onset-types and RA suggest comparable local production of the 2 chemokines.