Objective: In the present study, we aimed to investigate the relationship between interleukin 23 (IL-23) and the clinical and laboratory parameters in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Ankylosing spondylitis causes structural and functional inability, particularly in the axial skeleton, and results in the inflammatory lower back pain. At the same time, we aimed to investigate the relationship between IL-23 levels and disease related variables in patients with AS.
Methods: A total of 38 patients with AS (33 males and 5 females) and 42 healthy controls (32 males and 10 female) were enrolled in the study. The demographic characteristics of the participants were recorded. As laboratory findings, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP), and IL-23 values were noted. Bath AS Disease Activity Index, Bath AS Functional Index, Visual Analogue Scale, and AS Quality of Life scales of the patients were measured.
Results: The mean age of the AS group and the control subjects was 32.4 ± 7.06 and 30.0 ± 6.24 years, respectively. The ESR, CRP and IL-23 levels were significantly higher in the AS group compared to those of the healthy controls (p < 0.001, p < 0.013, p < 0.012, respectively). There was a significant correlation between ESR, CRP, and IL-23 levels in patients with AS (r = 0.328, p = 0.030 and r = 0.392, p = 0.008, respectively). While 12 subjects (31.5%) were positive for peripheral arthritis, 26 patients were negative (68.4%). The IL-23 levels were significantly higher in the group that was positive for peripheral arthritis (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: Interleukin 23 may play a role in the progression and/or pathogenesis of AS and is most likely involved in the joint problems independent of the classic inflammatory response measures.