Serum proteomic analysis identifies interleukin 16 as a biomarker for clinical response during early treatment of rheumatoid arthritis

Atsuko Murota, Katsuya Suzuki, Yoshiaki Kassai, Takahiro Miyazaki, Rimpei Morita, Yasushi Kondo, Masaru Takeshita, Yasuo Niki, Akihiko Yoshimura, Tsutomu Takeuchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To conduct a comprehensive quantitative proteomics analysis of novel serum protein biomarkers based on synovitis status associated with matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP-3) and to determine the clinical significance of these biomarkers in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods: Patients with untreated RA (n=28), primary Sjogren's syndrome (pSS) (n=30), and healthy controls (HCs) (n=30) were enrolled for the screening assay. A total of 1128 serum proteins were analyzed using the SOMAscan™ assay. Serum levels of MMP-3 and interleukin (IL)-16 were measured using a latex turbidimetric immunoassay and ELISA at baseline and 12 weeks after treatment with methotrexate (MTX) for MTX-naïve RA patients (n=28) or with the biologics tocilizumab (TCZ) (n= 7), abatacept (ABT) (n=11) or infliximab (n=22) for MTX-inadequate response (IR) RA patients. Correlation analysis was conducted using Spearman's rank correlation method. Results: Proteomics showed that serum IL-16 levels were most positively correlated with those of MMP-3 (ρ= 0.51, p< 0.01) and were significantly increased in patients with untreated active RA compared to HCs (p< 0.01) or those with pSS (p< 0.01). IL-16 levels decreased following treatment in both the MTX-naïve and MTX-IR groups. Regarding clinical response, fluctuations in IL-16 levels were positively associated with changes in clinical indicators, particularly the Clinical Disease Activity Index (ρ= 0.89, p< 0.01) in the TCZ and ABT-treated group. However, no similar correlation was noted in MMP-3 and acute phase reactants in any groups. Conclusions: IL-16 was a more effective clinical parameter than MMP-3, C-reactive protein, or erythrocyte sedimentation rate in both MTX-naive and MTX-IR RA patients. IL-16 might be a useful biomarker for evaluating clinical response in RA patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-93
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 01-02-2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry
  • Hematology
  • Molecular Biology


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