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Commentary

Gastrin-releasing peptide, substance P and cytokines in rheumatoid arthritis

Paul G Green

Author Affiliations

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2005, 7:111-113  doi:10.1186/ar1746

Published: 30 March 2005

Abstract

Many studies have shown that modulation of cytokine function is effective in ameliorating symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Neuropeptides have recently been shown to have powerful effects on the production and release of cytokines and have also been shown to exert potent proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory effects in animal models of inflammatory diseases. An analysis of cytokine and neuropeptide content of synovial fluid from patients with rheumatoid arthritis has revealed a significant correlation between two neuropeptides, bombesin/gastrin-releasing peptide and substance P, and the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 as well as the erythrocyte sedimentation rate. These findings provide further evidence for a role of neuropeptides and cytokines in the pathophysiology of rheumatoid arthritis, as well as suggesting additional approaches for the development of novel therapeutic interventions.