Open Access Research article

The new IL-1 family member IL-1F8 stimulates production of inflammatory mediators by synovial fibroblasts and articular chondrocytes

David Magne1, Gaby Palmer1, Jenny L Barton3, Francoise Mézin1, Dominique Talabot-Ayer1, Sylvette Bas1, Trevor Duffy1, Marcus Noger3, Pierre-Andre Guerne1, Martin JH Nicklin2 and Cem Gabay1*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital and Department of Pathology and Immunology, University of Geneva School of Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland

2 Division of Genomic Medicine, University of Sheffield, Henry Wellcome Laboratories for Medical Research, Medical School, Sheffield, UK

3 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University Hospital of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2006, 8:R80  doi:10.1186/ar1946

Published: 28 April 2006

Abstract

Six novel members of the IL-1 family of cytokines were recently identified, primarily through the use of DNA database searches for IL-1 homologues, and were named IL-1F5 to IL-1F10. In the present study, we investigated the effect of IL-1F8 on primary human joint cells, and examined the expression of the new IL-1 family members in human and mouse joints. Human synovial fibroblasts (hSFs) and human articular chondrocytes (hACs) expressed the IL-1F8 receptor (IL-1Rrp2) and produced pro-inflammatory mediators in response to recombinant IL-1F8. IL-1F8 mRNA expression was increased in hSFs upon stimulation with proinflammatory cytokines, whereas in hACs IL-1F8 mRNA expression was constitutive. However, IL-1F8 protein was undetectable in hSF and hAC culture supernatants. Furthermore, although IL-1β protein levels were increased in inflamed human and mouse joint tissue, IL-1F8 protein levels were not. IL-1F8 levels in synovial fluids were similar to or lower than those in matched serum samples, suggesting that the joint itself is not a major source of IL-1F8. Serum levels of IL-1F8 were similar in healthy donors, and patients with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and septic shock, and did not correlate with inflammatory status. Interestingly however, we observed high IL-1F8 levels in several serum samples in all groups. In conclusion, IL-1F8 exerts proinflammatory effects in primary human joint cells. Joint and serum IL-1F8 protein levels did not correlate with inflammation, but they were high in some human serum samples tested, including samples from patients with rheumatoid arthritis. It remains to be determined whether circulating IL-1F8 can contribute to joint inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis.