Arthritis & Rheumatism, Volume 63,
November 2011 Abstract Supplement

Abstracts of the American College of
Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals
Annual Scientific Meeting
Chicago, Illinois November 4-9, 2011.

Circulating Cytokine Profile in Patients with Antiphospholipid Syndrome.

Alvarez-Rodriguez1,  Lorena, Lopez-Hoyos1,  Marcos, Calvo-Alen2,  Jaime, del1,  Rafael Barrio, Pompei1,  Orlando, Martinez-Taboada3,  Victor M.

Hospital Universitario Marques de Valdecilla. IFIMAV, Santander, Spain
Hospital Sierrallana, Torrelavega, Spain
Hospital Universitario Marques de Valdecilla-IFIMAV, Santander, Spain


Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is characterized by the combination of clinical manifestations (arterial and/or venous thrombosis, and obstetrical complications) and the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies. The role of cellular immunity in the pathogenesis of this syndrome remains unclear, although a shift to a Th1 response, and an increased production of TNFa has been described. The aim of the present study was to determine the peripheral blood cellular phenotype and the circulating cytokine profile in patients with APS.


Intracellular cytokine production was assessed in T cells (IFN-g, IL-2, IL-4, IL-10, IL-17) and CD14+ cells (IL-1b, TNF-a, IL-6) by flow cytometry in 27 patients with APS. As control groups we included 17 age- and sex-matched healthy controls (HC) and 11 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Patients with SLE had to be with SLEDAI<=4 (only treatment with antimalarials and/or low-dose corticosteroids were allowed). Circulating cytokines were measured by Cytometric Bead Array (CBA) in 13 patients with APS and 26 HC.


Compared to HC, APS patients were characterized by a decreased frequency of circulating CD3+IFNg+ex vivo (without stimulus). This decrease in circulating Th1 cells was accompanied by a significant decrease in serum IL-12p70. Although we did not find significant differences in the expression of intracellular proinflammatory cytokines between APS and HC, serum levels of IL-6 were significantly lower in APS patients. Compared to HC, SLE patients were characterized by a decreased frequency of circulating CD3+IL-2+ and CD3+IFNg+ex vivo (without stimulus). For circulating CD3+IL-2+, these differences were also significant compared to APS. Patients with SLE were characterized by a significant increased frequency of circulating Th17 (CD4+IL17+CCR6+ and CD4+IL17+IFNg-) cells compared to HC and APS. Circulating CD4+IL17+IFNg+ cells were also significantly higher in SLE compared to APS patients.


These preliminary results suggest that patients with APS show a distinct functional profile in the peripheral cell compartment. Despite clinical remission or low disease activity, circulating Th17 cells are increased in SLE patients but not APS patients.

The present work was supported by grants from Roche (Spain) and IFIMAV.

To cite this abstract, please use the following information:
Alvarez-Rodriguez, Lorena, Lopez-Hoyos, Marcos, Calvo-Alen, Jaime, del, Rafael Barrio, Pompei, Orlando, Martinez-Taboada, Victor M.; Circulating Cytokine Profile in Patients with Antiphospholipid Syndrome. [abstract]. Arthritis Rheum 2011;63 Suppl 10 :17

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