The spontaneous increase in the transcription of the heat shock protein (hsp 70) gene in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of patients with active systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is shown by nuclear run on transcription assay. The transcription of hsp 70 gene in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of five patients with active SLE was more than 10 times greater than that in five normal healthy subjects or three patients with bronchial asthma as controls. This suggests that heat shock proteins may be produced during an active immune response in patients with active SLE and play a part in a change related to lupus of the essential intracellular functions of peripheral blood mononuclear cells.
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