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versão impressa ISSN 1807-5932


SILVA, Juliana Cruz da et al. Hydroxychloroquine decreases Th17-related cytokines in systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis patients. Clinics [online]. 2013, vol.68, n.6, pp.766-771. ISSN 1807-5932.


Hydroxychloroquine is an antimalarial agent that has been used in systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis treatment for many years. Recently, novel mechanisms of action have been proposed, thereby broadening the therapeutic perspective of this medication. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the immunomodulatory activity of hydroxychloroquine in T helper 17 (Th17) cytokines in healthy individuals and patients.


Eighteen female patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (mean age 39.0±12.9 years) and 13 female patients with rheumatoid arthritis (mean age 51.5±7.7 years) were recruited from Universidade Federal de Pernambuco-Brazil. The patients were included after fulfilling four classification criteria for systemic lupus erythematosus or rheumatoid arthritis from the American College of Rheumatology. After being stimulated with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate and ionomycin in the absence or presence of different concentrations of hydroxychloroquine, the interleukin 6, 17 and 22 levels were quantified with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in culture supernatants of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy individuals and patients.


We demonstrated that in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy volunteers and in systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis patients, there was a significant reduction in the IL-6, IL-17 and IL-22 supernatant levels after adding hydroxychloroquine.


Our in vitro results demonstrated that hydroxychloroquine inhibits IL-6, IL-17 and IL-22 production and contributes to a better understanding of the mechanism of action of this medication.

Palavras-chave : Systemic Lupus Erythematosus; Rheumatoid Arthritis; Th17 cells; Hydroxychloroquine.

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