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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Association of leukocyte CR1 gene transcription with the disease severity and renal involvement in systemic lupus erythematosus.

The reduced level of complement receptor 1 (CR1) on erythrocytes is speculated as a key mechanism contributing to immune complex (IC) overload and exaggerated complement (C) activation in systemic lupus erythematosus ( SLE). Comparatively, fewer studies documented lower levels of CR1 on leukocytes and glomerular podocytes in this disease. The decline in E-CR1 is largely believed as an acquired phenomenon caused due to the proteolytic cleavage of CR1 from erythrocyte membrane. The mechanism underlying reduced CR1 expression on nucleated cells is under constant investigation. Recently, reduced leukocytes CR1 gene transcription had been demonstrated in SLE and was suggested as the main cause of decline in leukocyte CR1 (L-CR1). The relationship of L-CR1 gene transcription with severity and pathophysiology of disease needs to be elucidated. We determined the levels of L-CR1 in 30 active SLE patients and compared with normal healthy controls (n = 30). Patients were categorized into two groups i.e., with nephritis (n = 14) or without nephritis (n = 16). The expression of L-CR1 at transcriptional level was correlated with the levels of serum CIC, C3 and anti dsDNA antibodies. The levels of L-CR1 transcription were significantly reduced in all SLE patients as compared to controls (P < 0.001). This decline in L-CR1 however, was more marked in patients with nephritis than those without nephritis. In addition, the serum levels of CIC, anti dsDNA antibodies were higher and the levels of serum C3 were lower than the normal range in the patients. The difference was much more marked in SLE patients with nephritis than those without nephritis. The levels of L-CR1 transcription correlated negatively with the levels of CIC and anti dsDNA antibodies and positively with serum C3 levels. Thus, between SLE patients with and without nephritis, we found significant difference in the levels of L-CR1 transcription (P < 0.01), CIC (P < 0.05), anti dsDNA antibodies (P < 0.01) and C3 (P < 0.01). Our findings suggest that L-CR1 is drastically reduced in patients with severe form of SLE, i.e., lupus nephritis. Determination of L-CR1 expression at transcriptional level in addition to disease hallmarks like C3, CIC and anti-dsDNA antibodies may facilitate the assessment of severity of SLE and discrimination between patients with or without renal involvement.[1]


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