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Methods Mol Biol. 2014;1134:131-50. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-0326-9_10.

Measuring interferon alpha and other cytokines in SLE.

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  • 1Division of Rheumatology, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY, USA.


The progression of disease in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is affected by production, accumulation, and actions of cytokines. Type I interferon (IFN), specifically IFN-α, is recognized as a central mediator of disease pathogenesis in SLE. We describe a functional assay to measure type I IFN activity in SLE plasma and have also measured the response of peripheral blood cells to that cytokine family. This method can be scaled to assess IFN functional activity, as well as activity and cellular response to other cytokines, in relation to cellular and serologic parameters relevant to SLE.

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