Cytokines play a key role in the regulation of cells of the immune system and also have been implicated in the pathogenesis of malignant diseases. The aim of this study was to evaluate cytokine profiles in patients with differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) before and 7 days after radioactive iodine (131-I) therapy. Cytokine levels were determined in supernatants obtained from phytohemagglutinin-stimulated whole blood cultures of 13 patients with DTC and 13 control subjects. The concentrations of selected cytokines: Th1-interferon gamma (IFN-γ), interleukin 2 (IL-2) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α); Th2-interleukin 4 (IL-4), interleukin 5 (IL-5), interleukin 13 (IL-13) and interleukin 10 (IL-10); Th9-interleukin-9 (IL-9); and Th17-interleukin 17 (IL-17A) were measured using multiplex cytokine detection systems for Human Th1/Th2/Th9/Th17/Th22. We have shown that peripheral blood cells of DTC patients produce significantly higher concentrations of Th2/Th9 cytokines (IL-5, IL-13 and IL-9) than control subjects. The 131-I therapy led to reduced secretion of Th2 cytokines (IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13). Despite this, the calculated cytokine ratios (Th1/Th2) in DTC patients before and 7 days after 131-I therapy were not different from those in healthy subjects. DTC patients have significantly higher concentrations of Th2/Th9 cytokines (IL-5, IL-13 and IL-9) than control subjects. There is no influence of hypothyroidism or stage of disease on cytokine production in DTC patients before 131-I therapy. The radioactive 131-I therapy leads to reduced secretion of Th2 cytokines (IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13). Additional studies are needed to determine the significance of these findings.
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