THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CYTOKINES IN DIAGNOSIS OF AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES
Summary: Autoimmune diseases are characterized by autoimmune reactions against one's own widespread determinants. Many cytokines are involved in activity regulation and organ involvement in various autoimmune diseases. It is well known that some tissues maintain a very high »entry barrier« concerning the development of immune-mediated inflammation, which leads to the state of »immune privilege« through the generation of specialized microenvironment. There are different patterns of cytokine synthesis in particular autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, type I diabetes, systemic lupus erythematosus and multiple sclerosis, and worth stressing is the difference between cytokines as phenotype markers and cytokines as inflammation and tissue damage mediators. In most autoimmune diseases the balance between proinflammatory and antiinflammatory cytokines determines the extent and spread of inflammation and can lead to conspicuous clinical effects. In SLE patients, for instance, we observed a significant elevation of TNF-a and IL-10 in all, but especially in neurologic disease form. Understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of T cell differentiation control is the road to the strategy of cytokine phenotype modulation and prevention of tissue damage and autoimmune diseases, promoting naturally the protection from them.
Key words: autoimmune diseases, cytokines, systemic lupus erythematosus, TNF-a, IL-10