Up regulation of serum tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis inducing ligand in juvenile-onset systemic lupus erythematosus: relations with disease activity, antibodies to double -stranded DNA, nephritis and neutropenia


Correspondence: Dr Mohamed Hesham Mohamed Ezzat, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Pediatric Rheumatology Unit, Children's Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, 25 Elsebak Street, Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.

Email: ezzatmhm@hotmail.com



Apoptosis is induced by binding of death receptor ligands, members of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily, to their cognate receptors. It is suggested that TNF-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) is involved in pathogenesis of juvenile-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (JSLE). This study aimed to assess TRAIL concentrations in sera of JSLE children and to determine their potential relationship with disease activity, anti-double-stranded DNA (anti-dsDNA) levels, neutropenia and renal involvement.


Circulating levels of TRAIL were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in serum samples obtained from 40 JSLE patients (20 with active and 20 with inactive disease) and 20 controls.


The mean (SEM) serum TRAIL concentration in JSLE was 1750.7 (440.2) pg/mL. Serum TRAIL concentrations in patients were higher than those in controls (P < 0.01). Serum TRAIL concentrations for children with inactive disease (1854.8 [485.4] pg/mL) and those with activity (1646.6 [390.6] pg/mL) were statistically comparable. JSLE children with positive anti-dsDNA antibodies had significantly higher TRAIL levels (mean = 1846 [456] vs. 1455 [325] pg/mL; P < 0.05). Serum TRAIL concentrations were significantly higher in classes III and IV nephritis compared to classes I and II nephritis (1970 [512] vs. 1330 [331] pg/mL; P < 0.01). Serum TRAIL concentrations in patients with neutropenia were higher than those without neutropenia (1805 [505] vs. 1516 [400] pg/mL; P = 0.042) and in controls (P = 0.024).


Our data indicate that an increased level of TRAIL is a feature of JSLE that correlates with disease activity, anti-dsDNA titers neutropenia and lupus nephritis.