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Logo of annrheumdAnnals of the Rheumatic DiseasesCurrent TOCInstructions for authors
Ann Rheum Dis. Jul 2005; 64(7): 1065–1067.
Published online Dec 2, 2004. doi:  10.1136/ard.2004.022491
PMCID: PMC1755547

Raised serum APRIL levels in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus

Abstract

Methods: Serum samples from 48 patients with SLE, 41 normal healthy subjects, and 21 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were assayed for APRIL by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. Medical charts were retrospectively reviewed for autoantibody titres and immunoglobulin levels. Disease activity was assessed using the British Isles Lupus Assessment Group (BILAG) index.

Results: The APRIL levels in the serum samples from patients with SLE were significantly higher than in those from healthy controls and those from patients with RA. Serum APRIL levels did not correlate with serum IgG and IgM levels, but had a tendency to correlate with anti-double stranded DNA antibody titres. Moreover, serum APRIL levels correlated significantly with musculoskeletal manifestations among patients with SLE when assessed by the BILAG index.

Conclusion: APRIL may be an important factor in raised autoantibody titres and musculoskeletal disease in patients with SLE. Patients with raised serum APRIL levels may be ideal candidates for therapeutic targeting of APRIL.

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Figures and Tables

Figure 1
 Serum levels of APRIL in the 48 patients with SLE were significantly higher than those in 41 healthy controls (p = 0.0004).
Figure 2
 Correlation between the serum APRIL levels and musculoskeletal manifestations among patients with SLE. The correlation coefficient was determined by Spearman's rank order correlation.

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