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Ann Rheum Dis. 1999 Feb;58(2):122-5.

Reduced purine 5'-nucleotidase activity in lymphocytes of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus: results of a pilot study.

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1
Department of Rheumatology, University Hospital Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate purine metabolism in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) for possible abnormalities that might be related to their overall impaired immune function.

METHODS:

This pilot study included 17 patients with SLE (2 men, 15 women). Enzyme activities of the purine enzymes 5'-nucleotidase (5'NT), purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP), and hypoxanthine-guanine-phosphoribosyltransferase (HGPRT) were measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and also in fractions of T cells (differentiation antigen CD3+) (n = 12) and B cells (CD19+) (n = 9). The activity of the thiopurine enzyme thiopurine-methyltransferase (TPMT) was measured in red cell lysate. Routine blood tests and indices of disease activity were measured as well. Results were compared with those of healthy volunteers.

RESULTS:

Compared with their controls, the female SLE patients had a more than 50% reduced activity of 5'NT in the T cell fraction (p = 0.001) and in PBMC (p < 0.000). 5'NT activity was also lower in B cells, but this was not statistically significant. Enzyme activities did not correlate with indices of disease activity, disease duration or the B cell/T cell ratio and no influence of medication was found.

CONCLUSION:

Reduced lymphocyte 5'NT activity is a novel finding in SLE. These results indicate that purine metabolism in SLE may be disturbed. Consequences of a low 5'NT activity may be an intracellular accumulation of (deoxy)purine nucleotides and a reduction of adenosine production. It is hypothesised that these factors may play a part in the overall impaired immune function and in the chronicity of inflammation in SLE.

PMID:
10343529
PMCID:
PMC1752826
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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