Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVES: IL26 levels are elevated in the blood and synovial fluid of patients with inflammatory arthritis. IL26 can be produced by Th17 cells and locally within joints by tissue-resident cells. IL26 induces osteoblast mineralization in vitro. As osteoproliferation and Th17 cells are important factors in the pathogenesis of axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA), we aimed to clarify the cellular sources of IL26 in spondyloarthritis. METHODS: Serum, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (n = 15-35) and synovial tissue (n = 3-9) of adult patients with axSpA, psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and healthy controls (HCs, n = 5) were evaluated by ELISA, flow cytometry including PrimeFlow assay, immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence and quantitative PCR. RESULTS: Synovial tissue of axSpA patients shows significantly more IL26-positive cells than that of HCs (p < 0.01), but numbers are also elevated in PsA and RA patients. Immunofluorescence shows co-localization of IL26 with CD68, but not with CD3, SMA, CD163, cadherin-11, or CD90. IL26 is elevated in the serum of RA and PsA (but not axSpA) patients compared with HCs (p < 0.001 and p < 0.01). However, peripheral blood CD4+ T cells from axSpA and PsA patients show higher positivity for IL26 in the PrimeFlow assay compared with HCs. CD4+ memory T cells from axSpA patients produce more IL26 under Th17-favoring conditions (IL-1β and IL-23) than cells from PsA and RA patients or HCs. CONCLUSION: IL26 production is increased in the synovial tissue of SpA and can be localized to CD68+ macrophage-like synoviocytes, whereas circulating IL26+ Th17 cells are only modestly enriched. Considering the osteoproliferative properties of IL26, this offers new therapeutic options independent of Th17 pathways.

Original publication




Journal article


Front Immunol

Publication Date





IL26, Th17 cells, axial spondyloarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, synvovial tissue, Humans, Arthritis, Psoriatic, Synoviocytes, Male, Adult, Female, Antigens, CD, Interleukins, Middle Aged, Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic, Axial Spondyloarthritis, Th17 Cells, Synovial Membrane, Joints, Arthritis, Rheumatoid