Background: Interleukin-28B (IL-28B) is a member of the interferon lambda family (also known as type III interferons), it has already been studied in many diseases, but it has almost never been studied in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). With this background, we determined the serum levels of IL-28B in RA patients and investigated its clinical significances.
Methods: IL-28B levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in 80 RA patients and 80 healthy controls. Radiographs were scored for total Sharp score (TSS).
Results: Serum IL-28B levels were significantly lower in the RA than in the control (p = 0.02). Anticyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibodies and rheumatoid factor (RF) were negatively correlated with serum IL-28B levels. There was no association between serum IL-28B levels and TSS at baseline, but there was a significant difference in change of IL-28B during 6 months follow up between progressors and non-progressors. The disease activity of RA patients decreased, but no difference was observed in serum IL-28B levels between before and after disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) therapy.
Conclusions: These findings indicated a role of IL-28B in RA and it may contribute to avoiding osteoclasia in RA patients.