Increased serum interleukin-6 (IL-6) concentrations have been reported in patients with thyroid destructive processes. In the present study we measured IL-6 and soluble IL-6 receptor (sIL-6R) concentrations in the serum of normal subjects and patients with Graves' disease using a high sensitivity sandwich enzyme-linked immunoassay. We found increased serum IL-6 and sIL-6R concentrations (69.3 fmol/L, and 964 pmol/L, respectively) in 49 hyperthyroid patients with Graves' disease (GD) compared to those in controls [55.8 fmol/L (P = 0.019) and 772 pmol/L (P = 0.007), respectively]. In 31 newly diagnosed GD patients, serum concentrations of IL-6 and sIL-6R during the hyperthyroid phase were elevated, and after therapy with methimazole only, serum sIL-6R concentrations returned to normal (940 vs. 726 pmol/L; P < 0.001) but serum IL-6 did not. Serum sIL-6R concentrations (mean +/- 2 SD) were higher in GD patients with active inflammatory thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy than those in patients with inactive or absent thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy (P < 0.05). In conclusion, we have demonstrated activation of the IL-6 system in GD and, for the first time, have measured and found increased serum sIL-6R concentrations in hyperthyroid GD patients.
Increased serum concentrations of interleukin-6 (IL6) and soluble IL-6 receptor in patients with Graves' disease / SALVI M; GIRASOLE G; PEDRAZZONI M; PASSERI M; GIULIANI N; MINELLI R.; BRAVERMAN L.E; ROTI E. - In: THE JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ENDOCRINOLOGY AND METABOLISM. - ISSN 0021-972X. - 81(1996), pp. 2676-2679.
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