Monday, November 20, 2006

Interleukin-7, T cells, and Rheumatoid Arthritis

drj writes "Transient lymphocyte depletion is an effective therapy for some autoimmune diseases, including
juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis (MS). Lymphocytes are usually replenished by treatment with growth factors after depletion or with stem cells after ablation. However, CD4 T cells remain depleted for extended periods following therapy of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Ponchel and colleagues now demonstrate significantly reduced levels of circulating interleukin-7 (IL-7), a T cell growth factor , in the sera of RA patients. Serum IL-7 increased transiently in cancer patients but not RA patients following lymphocyte depletion and autologous stem cell reconstitution.
It would be relatively easy to supplement RA treatment with recombinant IL-7. As the authors acknowledge, however, this would require careful monitoring since IL-7 has been implicated in MS, lymphoma and other cancers."
Ponchel et al., Arthr. Res. & Ther. 7, 2005
"Interleukin-7 deficiency in rheumatoid arthritis: consequences for therapy-induced lymphopenia"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

IL-7 or ?

Some suggest that dysregulated T cell homeostasis in RA is driven by membrane TNF-alpha [] or by anomalous expression of natural killer (NK) cell receptors and ligands []. Is there a unifying hypothesis (common cause) or do these respresent different forms of RA?