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Study of interleukin 33 in rheumatoid arthritis versus osteoarthritis patients


Aim of the work

To compare the expression of serum interleukin 33 (IL33), a new member of the interleukin1 (IL-1) cytokine family, in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) versus osteoarthritis (OA) patients and to correlate it with clinical, laboratory and radiographic parameters.

Subjects and methods

20 RA and 20 primary knee OA patients. The levels of serum IL-33 were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) while anticyclic citrullinated peptide (Anti-CCP), rheumatoid factor (RF), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) were measured by standard laboratory techniques. Plain x-ray of both hands and wrists were evaluated using the modified Larsen score 1995 (MLS) in RA patients. Knee OA grading was performed according to the Kellgren Lawrence classification. The correlation of IL-33 level with clinical, laboratory and radiological data of RA and OA was analyzed.


Serum IL-33 level was significantly higher in RA than in OA patients (P< 0.001). This level was positively correlated with disease duration, clinical and laboratory markers of disease activity, impaired functional status and radiographic severity in RA while not in OA patients.


These findings support that IL-33 could have an essential proinflammatory role in the pathogenesis of RA and that IL-33 level may be a monitor of disease activity and severity. IL-33 may become therapeutic target for RA.


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Correspondence to Marwa A. Abo El Hawa.

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Abd El-Aziz Farag, A.M., El-Gazzar, N.M., Abo El Hawa, M.A. et al. Study of interleukin 33 in rheumatoid arthritis versus osteoarthritis patients. Egypt Rheumatol Rehabil 44, 159–163 (2017).

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