Serum levels of interleukin 1-β, tumor necrosis factor-α, soluble interleukin 2 receptor and soluble CD8 in seronegative spondylarthropathies
An ELISA was used to measure soluble CD8 (sCD8) in the sera and synovial fluids (SF) of patients with rheumatic diseases. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) had raised levels of sCD8 both in their sera and in their SF compared with patients with osteoarthritis and age-matched healthy controls. In individual RA patients, serial serum sCD8 levels initially fell and then rose preceding clinical improvement. In four patients where serum sCD8 levels rose and clinical improvement occurred, subsequent spontaneous decreases of serum sCD8 level preceded increased clinical disease activity by up to 2 weeks. In general, RA SF mononuclear cells (SFMNC) spontaneously produced high levels of sCD8. In contrast, autologous peripheral blood MNC only produced comparable levels after mitogenic stimulation. Incubation of SFMNC with increasing concentrations of human recombinant tumour necrosis factor alpha resulted in a dose-dependent potentiation of sCD8 release into the supernatant. There was an inverse relationship between the ability of SFMNC to release sCD8 and soluble interleukin-2 receptor, indicating that the CD8+ T cell population may play an important immunoregulatory role in RA.