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Disease Markers
Volume 35 (2013), Issue 3, Pages 203–206
Research Article

Serum Interleukin-15 Levels Are Associated with Severity of Pain in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis

1Department of Hand-Foot Surgery, Weifang People’s Hospital, Weifang 261041, Shandong, China
2Department of Orthopedic Trauma, Weifang People’s Hospital, Weifang 261041, Shandong, China

Received 2 April 2013; Accepted 12 July 2013

Academic Editor: Paul Ashwood

Copyright © 2013 Jian-Min Sun et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Inflammation plays a crucial role in the development and progression of osteoarthritis (OA). Interleukin-15 (IL-15) is a well-known proinflammatory cytokine. Objective. We aimed at evaluating the relationship between serum IL-15 levels and the severity of pain as well as radiographic progression in patients with knee OA. Methods. Two hundred and twenty-six OA patients and 106 controls were enrolled in this study. The symptomatic/radiological severity of OA was assessed by the Western Ontario McMaster University Osteoarthritis Index- (WOMAC-)pain scores/Kellgren-Lawrence (KL) grading system. Serum IL-15 levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results. Serum IL-15 levels were significantly higher in OA patients compared with controls. Serum IL-15 levels were independently and positively correlated with WOMAC-pain scores but not KL grades in OA patients. Conclusions. We demonstrated that increased serum IL-15 levels were independently correlated with self-reported greater pain in knee OA patients. These results suggest that IL-15 might play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of OA related pain and therapeutic interventions by blocking IL-15 signaling pathways to delay the degenerative process of OA related pain which warrants further investigations.