Exp Mol Med.  2004 Feb;36(1):13-22.

Serum concentrations of soluble 4-1BB and 4-1BB ligand correlated with the disease severity in rheumatoid arthritis

  • 1The Immunomodulation Research Center, Department of Biological Sciences University of Ulsan, Ulsan 680-749, Korea. bskwon@mail.ulsan.ac.kr
  • 2Division of Allergy and Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Ulsan University Hospital, Ulsan 682-714, Korea.
  • 3LSU Eye Center, 2020 Gravier Street, New Orleans LA 70112, USA.


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a multifactorial autoimmune disease whose etiopathogenesis is not well understood. Although soluble (s) forms of 4-1BB (s4-1BB) and 4-1BB legand (s4-1BBL) have been detected in the sera of RA patients, their significance is not known. We compared the serum levels of s4-1BB and s4-1BBL in RA patients with those in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and Behcet's disease (BD) patients. Serum levels of s4-1BB and s4-1BBL were significantly higher in RA patients compared with healthy controls, SLE or BD patients, and the abundance was correlated with disease severity in patients with RA. The serum levels of s4-1BB in RA patients were inversely corroborated with 4-1BB expression levels on activated T lymphocytes. In addition, there was a correlation between serum levels of s4-1BB and s4-1BBL. The augmented secretion of s4-1BB and s4-1BBL levels into the serum may reflect the clinical symptoms of RA and levels of s4-1BB and s4-1BBL in sera at the time of diagnosis may be indicative of the severity and outcome of RA.


autoimmune diseases; Behcet syndrome; biological markers; lupus erythematosus systemic; rheumatoid arthritis; serum
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