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Interactions between IL-32 and tumor necrosis factor alpha contribute to the exacerbation of immune-inflammatory diseases

Hirofumi Shoda1, Keishi Fujio1*, Yumi Yamaguchi1, Akiko Okamoto1, Tetsuji Sawada1, Yuta Kochi2 and Kazuhiko Yamamoto1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Allergy and Rheumatology, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan

2 Laboratory for Rheumatic Diseases, SNP Research Center, RIKEN, 1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 230-0045, Japan

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2006, 8:R166  doi:10.1186/ar2074

Published: 1 November 2006


IL-32 is a newly described cytokine in the human found to be an in vitro inducer of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα). We examined the in vivo relationship between IL-32 and TNFα, and the pathologic role of IL-32 in the TNFα-related diseases – arthritis and colitis. We demonstrated by quantitative PCR assay that IL-32 mRNA was expressed in the lymphoid tissues, and in stimulated peripheral T cells, monocytes, and B cells. Activated T cells were important for IL-32 mRNA expression in monocytes and B cells. Interestingly, TNFα reciprocally induced IL-32 mRNA expression in T cells, monocyte-derived dendritic cells, and synovial fibroblasts. Moreover, IL-32 mRNA expression was prominent in the synovial tissues of rheumatoid arthritis patients, especially in synovial-infiltrated lymphocytes by in situ hybridization. To examine the in vivo relationship of IL-32 and TNFα, we prepared an overexpression model mouse of human IL-32β (BM-hIL-32) by bone marrow transplantation. Splenocytes of BM-hIL-32 mice showed increased expression and secretion of TNFα, IL-1β, and IL-6 especially in response to lipopolysaccharide stimulation. Moreover, serum TNFα concentration showed a clear increase in BM-hIL-32 mice. Cell-sorting analysis of splenocytes showed that the expression of TNFα was increased in resting F4/80+ macrophages, and the expression of TNFα, IL-1β and IL-6 was increased in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated F4/80+ macrophages and CD11c+ dendritic cells. In fact, BM-hIL-32 mice showed exacerbation of collagen-antibody-induced arthritis and trinitrobenzen sulfonic acid-induced colitis. In addition, the transfer of hIL-32β-producing CD4+ T cells significantly exacerbated collagen-induced arthritis, and a TNFα blockade cancelled the exacerbating effects of hIL-32β. We therefore conclude that IL-32 is closely associated with TNFα, and contributes to the exacerbation of TNFα-related inflammatory arthritis and colitis.