Serum cytokine profiles in Behçet's disease: is there a role for IL-15 in pathogenesis?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • K Pryce
  • N Modi
  • B Knight
  • EM Graham
  • JE Stewart
  • F Fortune
  • MR Stanford

Colleges, School and Institutes


OBJECTIVES: Behçet's disease (BD) is a multisystem inflammatory disease characterised by recurrent orogenital ulceration, ocular inflammation and skin lesions whose aetiology is currently unknown. We hypothesized that levels of cytokines in the serum might provide either diagnostic or activity markers for the disease. METHODS: Levels of 10 cytokines were analysed in a multiplex bead analysis system as well as IL-15 by ELISA, in 79 serum samples from 52 patients with BD. The same cytokines were also measured in serum samples from 20 patients with recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS), as disease controls, and 15 healthy volunteers. The results were correlated with disease activity and current drug therapy. RESULTS: CXCL8 and TNF were the most abundant cytokines and were significantly raised compared to both patients with RAS and healthy controls. IL-15 was present in all samples and was significantly raised in both patients with BD and RAS compared to healthy controls. By comparison, cytokines associated with an adaptive immune response such as IFNgamma and IL-2 were found in few samples, while IL-4 and IL-10 were not detected in any sample. Levels of cytokines correlated with each other suggesting a response to the same stimulus, however, there was no association with either disease activity or treatment. CONCLUSION: Cytokines related to activity of the innate immune response were most prominent in this study and showed good correlation with each other. In particular, it was shown that IL-15 was raised in BD. However, there was no pattern of cytokine expression relating to disease activity or treatment.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-12
Number of pages6
JournalImmunology Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2008


  • Behcet's disease, Cytokines, IL-15