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Lupus. 2018 Nov;27(13):2029-2040. doi: 10.1177/0961203318804885. Epub 2018 Oct 9.

Urinary B-cell-activating factor of the tumour necrosis factor family (BAFF) in systemic lupus erythematosus.

Author information

1 Centre for Inflammatory Diseases, Monash University School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
2 Department of Nephrology, Monash Health, and Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.
3 Western Health, Department of Nephrology, St Albans, Victoria, Australia.
4 The Department of Medicine, Western Health, The University of Melbourne, St Albans, Victoria, Australia.
5 National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Clinical Trials Centre, University of Sydney, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia.
6 The Renal Unit, The Alfred Hospital, Prahran, Victoria, Australia.
7 Department of Immunology and Pathology, Monash University, Central Clinical School, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
8 Rheumatology Department, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and Discipline of Medicine, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.
9 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.



We examined the clinical relevance of urinary concentrations of B-cell-activating factor of the tumour necrosis factor family (BAFF) and a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL) in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).


We quantified urinary BAFF (uBAFF) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 85 SLE, 28 primary Sjögren syndrome (pSS), 40 immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN) patients and 36 healthy controls (HCs). Urinary APRIL (uAPRIL) and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (uMCP-1) were also quantified. Overall and renal SLE disease activity were assessed using the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index 2000.


uBAFF was detected in 12% (10/85) of SLE patients, but was undetectable in HCs, IgAN and pSS patients. uBAFF was detectable in 28% (5/18) of SLE patients with active nephritis vs 5/67 (7%) of those without ( p = 0.03), and uBAFF was significantly higher in active renal patients ( p = 0.02) and more likely to be detected in patients with persistently active renal disease. In comparison, uAPRIL and uMCP-1 were detected in 32% (25/77) and 46% (22/48) of SLE patients, respectively. While no difference in proportion of samples with detectable uAPRIL was observed between SLE, HCs and IgAN patients, both uAPRIL and uMCP-1 were significantly detectable in higher proportions of patients with active renal disease.


uBAFF was detectable in a small but a significant proportion of SLE patients but not in other groups tested, and was higher in SLE patients with active renal disease.


A proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL); B-cell–activating factor from the tumour necrosis factor family (BAFF); biomarker; lupus nephritis (LN); monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1); systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

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