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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2015, Article ID 356040, 13 pages
Research Article

Regulatory Effect of Iguratimod on the Balance of Th Subsets and Inhibition of Inflammatory Cytokines in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

1Department of Immunology and Microbiology, Shanghai JiaoTong University School of Medicine, Shanghai Institute of Immunology, Shanghai 200025, China
2Guanghua Integrative Medicine Hospital, Shanghai 200052, China

Received 2 August 2015; Accepted 26 October 2015

Academic Editor: Dianne Cooper

Copyright © 2015 Yunzhi Xu 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.


Objective. To expand upon the role of iguratimod (T-614) in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), we investigated whether the Th1, Th17, follicular helper T cells (Tfh), and regulatory T cells (Treg) imbalance could be reversed by iguratimod and the clinical implications of this reversal. Methods. In this trial, 74 patients were randomized into iguratimod-treated (group A) and control (broup B) group for a 24-week treatment period. In the subsequent 28 weeks, both groups were given iguratimod. Frequencies of Th1, Th17, Tfh, and Treg were quantified using flow cytometry, and serum cytokines were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. mRNA expression of cytokines and transcriptional factor were quantified by RT-PCR. The composite Disease Activity Score, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and C-reactive protein were assessed at each visit. Result. The clinical scores demonstrated effective suppression of disease after treatment with iguratimod. In addition, iguratimod downregulated Th1, Th17-type response and upregulated Treg. Furthermore, the levels of Th1, Th17, and Tfh associated inflammatory cytokines and transcription factors were reduced after treatment with iguratimod, while the levels of Treg associated cytokines and transcription factors were increased.