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Serum interleukin-8 level is a more sensitive marker than serum interleukin-6 level in monitoring the disease activity of oral lichen planus.

Research paper by A A Sun, J T JT Wang, J S JS Chia, C P CP Chiang

Indexed on: 14 Jun '05Published on: 14 Jun '05Published in: British Journal of Dermatology



Abstract

Oral lichen planus (OLP) is a T-cell-mediated inflammatory disease. Interleukin (IL)-8 is a pro-inflammatory cytokine of host response to injury and inflammation.To investigate whether serum IL-8 level was a more sensitive marker than serum IL-6 level in monitoring the disease activity of OLP and to assess whether IL-8 was a useful serum marker in evaluating the therapeutic effects of levamisole on OLP patients.In this study, we used a solid phase, two-site sequential chemiluminescent immunometric assay to determine the baseline serum levels of IL-6 and IL-8 in 158 patients with OLP, nine patients with traumatic ulcers (TU) and 54 normal control subjects. Some OLP patients with the serum IL-6 or IL-8 levels higher than the upper limit of normal serum concentration were treated with levamisole for 0.5-6.0 months and their serum IL-6 and IL-8 levels were measured after treatment.We found that 28% (44 of 158) OLP, 28% (40 of 142) erosive OLP (EOLP), and 25% (four of 16) nonerosive OLP (NEOLP) patients had a serum IL-6 level greater than the upper normal limit of 4.7 pg mL(-1). In contrast, 63% (99 of 158) OLP, 63% (90 of 142) EOLP and 56% (nine of 16) NEOLP patients had a serum IL-8 level greater than the upper normal limit of 8.7 pg mL(-1). In some OLP patients with the serum IL-6 or IL-8 levels higher than the upper limit of normal serum concentration, treatment with levamisole for a period of 0.5-6.0 months could significantly reduce the mean serum IL-6 level from 14.3 +/- 1.9 pg mL(-1) to 3.2 +/- 0.6 pg mL(-1) (P < 0.001) and could significantly reduce the mean serum IL-8 level from 95.8 +/- 17.1 pg mL(-1) to 14.8 +/- 5.8 pg mL(-1) (P < 0.001).Because measurement of the serum IL-8 level can detect more OLP patients with an abnormal serum level than measurement of the serum IL-6 level (63% vs. 28%), we conclude that serum IL-8 level is a more sensitive marker than serum IL-6 level in monitoring the disease activity of OLP. Levamisole can modulate both the serum IL-6 and IL-8 levels in OLP patients. IL-8, like IL-6, is also a useful serum marker in evaluating the therapeutic effects of levamisole on OLP patients.