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1.  Production of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist by human articular chondrocytes 
Arthritis Research  2002;4(3):226-231.
Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) is a natural IL-1 inhibitor possessing anti-inflammatory properties. IL-1Ra is produced as different isoforms, one secreted (sIL-1Ra) and three intracellular (icIL-1Ra1, icIL-1Ra2 and icIL-1Ra3), derived from the same gene. We examined the production of IL-1Ra species by cultured human articular chondrocytes in response to various cytokines. The levels of IL-1Ra were undetectable in culture supernatants of untreated cells, but were significantly increased by IL-1β. Cell lysates contained very low levels of IL-1Ra, even in response to IL-1β, suggesting that chondrocytes produce predominantly sIL-1Ra. IL-6, which had no effect on its own, enhanced the effect of IL-1β, while dexamethasone prevented the response. We observed by RT-PCR that IL-1β and IL-6 induced primarily the production of sIL-1Ra mRNA. Furthermore, IL-1β alone or combined with IL-6 increased the levels of nascent unspliced sIL-1Ra mRNA, suggesting that sIL-1Ra expression is regulated at the transcriptional level. Reporter gene assays in immortalized chondrocytes, C-20/A4, consistently showed increased sIL-1Ra promoter activity in response to IL-1β and IL-6. In conclusion, human articular chondrocytes produce sIL-1Ra in response to IL-1β and IL-6. The production of sIL-1Ra by chondrocytes may have a protective effect against articular inflammatory and catabolic responses.
PMCID: PMC111027  PMID: 12010575
cytokines; glucocorticoids; human articular chondrocytes; IL-1 receptor antagonist
2.  Physiologic role of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist 
Arthritis Research  2000;2(4):245-248.
Recent studies have described the spontaneous development of arthritis or vasculitis in IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) knockout mice bred on specific and different genetic backgrounds. The levels of both secreted and intracellular isoforms of IL-1Ra produced in the rheumatoid joint or in the arterial wall may not be adequate to effectively inhibit the excess amounts of locally produced IL-1. Thus, an imbalance between IL-1 and IL-1Ra may predispose to local inflammatory disease in particular tissues in the presence of other as yet unknown genetically influenced factors.
doi:10.1186/ar94
PMCID: PMC130011  PMID: 11094434
interleukin-1; interleukin-1 receptor antagonist; rheumatoid arthritis; vasculitis

Results 1-3 (3)