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Marker Signals Drug Response in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Lower soluble interleukin 2 receptor in serum correlates with rapid response

THURSDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Lower levels of soluble interleukin 2 receptor (sIL2R), a marker of lymphocyte activation, may predict a better response in rheumatoid arthritis patients to infliximab therapy, at least in the short run, according to a report in the January issue of Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Antti Kuuliala, of the Haartman Institute in Helsinki, Finland, and colleagues measured baseline serum sIL2R levels in 24 rheumatoid arthritis patients prior to treatment. The patients underwent an intravenous infliximab regimen and disease activity scores were measured at six and 22 weeks.

Although sIL2R levels did not correlate with disease activity at baseline or 22 weeks, the investigators found a significant relationship between the two at six weeks with lower sIL2R levels at baseline predicting better outcome. Regression analysis revealed a coefficient of 0.205 for every 100 U/ml of sIL2R.

"Given that the serum sIL2R level serves as a marker to T cell activation, our results suggest that enhanced T cell activation is related to delayed response to the infliximab treatment," the authors conclude. "This suggestion emphasizes the impact of lymphocytes on the rheumatic inflammation."

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