Background Epithelial (E)-cadherin is a homophilic adhesion molecule that plays major role in epithelial cell adhesion. E-cadherin can be cleaved from the cell surface by proteolytic enzymes, resulting in the generation of soluble E-cadherin (sE-cad). Serum levels of sE-cad are elevated in patients with several types of cancer, bacterial infections, organ failure, and primary Sjögren’s syndrome. However, the sE-cad levels in SLE have not been examined.
Objectives To study the levels and the potential roles of sE-cad in SLE.
Methods The present study was undertaken to assess the serum levels of sE-cad in 150 female SLE patients and 31 healthy women by ELISA. Correlations between sE-cad levels and diseases-related variables were analyzed in the SLE patients.
Results Serum levels of sE-cad were significantly increased in SLE patients compared with levels in healthy controls (93 ng/ml vs. 80 ng/ml; p <0.05). Importantly, increased sE-cad levels were only observed in SLE patients who had pathologically elevated levels of serum creatinine (105 ng/ml, p<0.001), but not in those with normal serum creatinine (82ng/ml, ns). Also, significantly higher levels of sE-cad were found in patients with calculated GFR less than 50 ml/min than ones with over 50ml/min (p<0.001), and in patients defined as kidney affection ever by SLE than in ones without kidney affection by SLE (p<0.001). sE-cad levels correlated positively with serum creatinine (r=0.65, p<0.001), SLICC/ACR damage index (r=0.24, p<0.001), and inversely with calculated glomerular filtration rate (r=-0.53, p<0.001). In addition, significant correlation (r=0.37, p<0.001) was observed between sE-cad and erythrocyte sedimentation rate.
Conclusions This study demonstrates a close association between elevated serum levels sE-cad and kidney dysfuntion in female SLE patients, suggesting that sE-cad might be involved in pathogenesis of decreased kidney function in SLE patients.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared