Soluble interleukin-2 receptor is a thyroid hormone-dependent early response marker in the treatment of thyrotoxicosis

Robert C. Smallridge, George C. Tsokos, Kenneth D. Burman, Lisa Porter, Toni Cranston, Peter P. Sfikakis, Barbara L. Solomon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Thyrotoxic patients exhibit increased levels of immune activation molecules (soluble interleukin-2 receptor [sIL-2R], intercellular adhesion molecule-1 [ICAM-1], and endothelial-leukocyte adhesion molecule-1 [ELAM-1]) in serum, although the clinical significance of these measurements remains unclear. In a randomized 4-week study, we have recently shown that in the treatment of hyperthyroidism, the combination of cholestyramine and methimazole (MMI) resulted in faster lowering of serum thyroid-hormone levels than did MMI alone. Stored serial serum samples from patients participating in this randomized treatment trial were analyzed for sIL-2R, soluble ICAM-1 (sICAM-1), and soluble ELAM-1 (sELAM-1). The levels of all three molecules were elevated in patients with hyperthyroidism. Although the levels of sICAM-1 and sELAM-1 remained elevated through the 4-week follow-up period in both groups of patients, the sIL-2R levels (normal levels, 1.0 to 4.2 ng/ml) decreased significantly in the 10 patients who received cholestyramine in addition to MMI (week 0, 14.2 ± 1.5 ng/ml; week 2, 10.8 ± 1.2 ng/ml; week 4, 8.9 ± 1.5 ng/ml). In eight patients who received MMI alone, sIL-2R decreased less rapidly (week 0, 12.3 ± 1.4 ng/ml; week 2, 12.3 ± 1.3 ng/ml; week 4, 10.9 ± 1.3 ng/ml). sICAM-1 and sELAM-1 were elevated at baseline but did not decrease during therapy. In the former group, free thyroxine and free triiodothyronine decreased faster. These data show that levels of sIL-2R in serum, but not those of sICAM-1 and sELAM-1, may be of clinical use in the early follow-up evaluation of medically treated patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-586
Number of pages4
JournalClinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Microbiology (medical)


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