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Br J Rheumatol. 1997 Jun;36(6):656-60.

Elevated serum levels of neopterin in adult patients with polymyositis/dermatomyositis.

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  • 1Cardiology Research Centre, Moscow, Russia.


We determined serum concentrations of neopterin, soluble tumour necrosis factor (55 kDa) receptor (sTNF-R) and soluble interleukin-2 receptor (sIL-2R) in plasma of 44 patients with polymyositis (PM)/dermatomyositis (DM), including 15 patients with primary PM, 13 patients with primary DM, and 16 patients with myositis and systemic sclerosis in overlap. Concentrations of neopterin, sTNF-R and sIL-2R were measured using commercially available immunoassays. Serum neopterin was increased in 35 of 44 PM/DM patients (80%), sTNF-R in 14 (32%) and sIL-2R in 18 (41%) patients, respectively. There were significant correlations between serum neopterin and sTNF-R, sIL-2R and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (all P < 0.001). Neopterin, as well as sTNF-R and sIL-2R, did not correlate with clinical (neuromuscular and activities of daily living scores) and laboratory (creatine kinase levels) manifestations of myositis. Increased serum levels of neopterin were associated with non-muscular manifestations of PM/DM. In conclusion, serum neopterin appears to be a useful laboratory marker for ongoing immune activation and global disease activity in PM/DM.

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