Effect of In Vitro and In Vivo Anakinra on Cytokines Production in Schnitzler Syndrome

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IL-1 receptor antagonist anakinra is usually highly efficient in Schnitzler syndrome (SS), a rare inflammatory condition associating urticaria, fever, and IgM monoclonal gammopathy. In this study, we aimed to assess lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced production of inflammatory cytokines by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) before and after 1 month of anakinra in patients with SS. LPS-induced production of IL-1β, IL-6 and TNFα was assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with and without anakinra in vitro, and before and after 1 month (in vivo condition) of treatment in 2 patients with SS. Spontaneous production of IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α by PBMCs was similar in the patients and the healthy controls and was almost undetectable. Stimulation with LPS caused a higher release of cytokines from the patients than from the healthy controls. Before in vivo anakinra start, in vitro adjunction of anakinra reduced the high LPS-induced production of IL-1β and TNFα in both patients and of IL-6 in one patient. After 1 month of treatment with anakinra, while the patients had dramatically improved, there was also a marked reduction in LPS-induced cytokines production, which was almost normalized in one patient. This study shows an abnormal LPS-induced inflammatory cytokines production in SS, which can be decreased or even normalized by in vitro and in vivo anakinra.