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FRI0083 Elevated il-16 level is a non-genetic characteristic of patients with severe systemic lupus erythematosus
  1. LR Lard1,
  2. BO Roep2,
  3. TW Huizinga1
  1. 1Rheumatology
  2. 2Immunohaematology and Bloodbank, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, Netherlands


Background IL-16, origanilly named lymphocyte chemoattractant factor, is a cytokine which is mainly produced by CD8+ T cells. Several reports have described that increased levels of IL-16 are in part responsible for T cell abnormalities in SLE patients.

Objectives To investigate whether increased levels of IL-16 is a characteristic underlying susceptibility to SLE or is a characteristic of the disease itself.

Methods Accumulated organ damage was measured with the SLICC/ACR Damage Index. Twenty-five severe (SLICC/ACR: 4.9 + 2.5) and ten non-severe (SLICC/ACR: 1.0 + 0.8) SLE patients were included in this study. Also 11 first degree relatives and 12 healthy volunteers were included in this study. Plasma IL-16 levels were measured by ELISA.

Results No significant difference in the IL-16 levels of the first degree relatives of patients with SLE (38.3 + 11.1 pg/ml) were observed when compared to controls (31.2 + 10.1 pg/ml). In order to analyse characteristics of the SLE in relation to concentration of IL-16, IL-16 was measured in severe SLE patients (71.3 + 87.4 pg/ml; P = 0.025) compared to healthy controls. On the other hand, no significant differences were observed between the non-severe SLE patients (37.8 + 26.1 pg/ml) and controls.

Conclusion No evidence for increased IL-16 levels in first degree relatives of the SLE patients was observed. IL-16 is enhanced in SLE patients with a severe disease, but not in patients with non-severe disease, thereby suggesting that IL-16 is associated with disease severity, and not with susceptibility for SLE.

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