Background High frequency of obesity among SLE patients has been described, however, it is unknown whether obesity can modify the inflammatory status of those individuals.
Objectives To analyze the profile of cytokines and evaluate whether obesity interferes with the inflammatory status of SLE patients.
Methods Cross-sectional study included 189 women with SLE and 70 controls, older than 18 years, were included in the study. Data related to clinical and laboratory manifestations besides medication use were assessed. Disease activity was measured by SLEDAI-2K and irreversible cumulative damage by SLICC-ACR/DI. Nutritional status was assessed by body mass index (BMI). Serum concentrations of IL6, IL10, IL17, TNFα, soluble TNFα receptors 1 (sTNFR1) and 2 (sTNFR2) were analyzed using high sensitivity cytometric bead array and adipokines (leptin and adiponectin) by ELISA kits. Multiple linear regression method was performed for multivariate analysis. In order to adjust the multivariate models the following variables were included: age, menopause, disease activity, use of antimalarial drugs, immunosuppressive and current dose of corticosteroids.
Results In lupus patients group, mean (SD) values of age and disease duration were, respectively, 37.5 (10.0) and 9.1 (6.3) years. Considering BMI, 72 (38.1%) patients were classified as eutrophic, 64 (33.9%) as overweight and 53 (28.0%) as obese. The mean (SD) cumulative dose of prednisone was 32.9 (26.1) g, and of the current daily dose of prednisone was 10.4 (12.9) mg. The median (IQR) disease activity and damage index scores were 2 (0–6) and 0 (0–1), respectively. Serum levels of cytokines were higher in lupus patients when compared to controls [IL6 (p<0.001), sTNFR1 (p=0.028), sTNFR2 (p=0.003), IL10 (p<0.001), leptin (p=0.044) and adiponectin (p<0.001)]. Only the IL17 levels (p=0.518) did not differ statistically between the two groups. Higher BMI correlated with age (rs =0.335; p = <0.001), age at diagnosis (rs=0.319; p≤0.001) and with less years of education (rs= -0.204; p=0.005). No correlation was observed between BMI and disease activity (rs: 0.116 p=0.113) as well as with damage index (rs:-0.080 p=0.309). Higher concentrations of IL6 (rs=0.246, p=0.002), IL17 (rs=0.195, p=0.014) and leptin (rs=0.430; p<0.001) were positively and independently correlated with BMI.
Conclusions This study showed higher serum levels of cytokines and adipokines in SLE patients. Also, higher BMI was correlated with higher concentrations of IL6, IL17 and leptin in the study group, suggesting that BMI could interfere, regardless of disease activity, with the inflammatory profile of women with SLE.
Disclosure of Interest None declared