Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist gene polymorphism and hepcidin in rheumatoid arthritis: Correlations with clinical and laboratory indices of disease activity


Address correspondence to: Professor Dr. Menha Swellam; Biochemistry Department, Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Research Division, National Research Center, Tahrir Street, Dokki, Giza, 12622, Egypt. E-mail:


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic autoimmune disease, which is manifested as an inflammatory polyarthritis. Authors aimed to analyze the relationship between serum hepcidin, 25 amino acid protein, concentration and the anemia profiles of RA and to estimate whether it could reflect the disease activity of RA. Also, this study was conducted to explore the linkage between interleukin-1 (IL-1) receptor antagonist gene (IL-1RN) polymorphism, proinflammatory cytokine, and RA. One hundred and eighty five RA patients were enrolled in the study. For all, the following criteria were measured: RA disease activities, anemia profiles, serum concentration of hepcidin using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and DNA samples were used to study genotypes of IL-1RN gene by polymerase chain reaction. Mean concentration of serum pro-hepcidin was (93.6 ± 31.5 ng/mL) in 185 RA patients. An increased frequency of the IL-1RN*1 and IL-1RN*2 alleles was relative to active RA (DAS28 > 5.1) than those with inactive to moderate RA (DAS28 ≤ 5.1). Both hepcidin and IL-1RN gene showed significant correlation with each other as well with RA disease activity parameters and anemia profile. IL-1RN gene was significantly correlated with laboratory anemia profile apart from transferritin. There was a significant difference among pro-hepcidin concentration and IL-1RN frequency regarding patients with anemia of chronic disease and those without. In conclusion, both serum concentration of pro-hepcidin and IL-1RN genotypes frequency reflect the disease activity, regardless of the anemia states in RA patients, thus they may be another potential markers for disease activity of RA. © 2013 IUBMB Life, 65(10):883-888, 2013