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Research Article
The Study of CD 69 as an Early Marker of SLE Activity in Pediatrics

Kh Saber, Z. El-Khayat, T. Ramzy and A.N. Hanna

Journal of Medical Sciences, 2007, 7(1), 74-80.


A major problem in the management of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) patients is to assess disease activity. Widely used serological markers are sometimes normal while the patient exhibits obvious signs and symptoms. The CD69 antigen is an integral membrane protein rapidly induced on the surface of activated lymphocytes and is thought to be implicated in the pathogenesis of SLE. We aimed to investigate the dynamic changes in peripheral blood CD8+ T cells expressing CD69 antigen in pediatric SLE in relation to disease activity. CD3+ CD8+ T cells were collected from 25 children and adolescents with SLE and from 20 healthy controls. The percentage of CD69 expressing in freshly isolated cells was quantified by three color immunofluorescent staining. Patients were also subjected to clinical evaluation for disease activity by Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI) and system involvement. The ESR, peripheral blood cell count, Anti DNA antibody, complement 3, creatinine clearance and 24 h urinary proteins were assessed as well as renal biopsy in selected cases. CD69 was over-expressed in CD3+ CD8+ T cell subsets of SLE patients (median = 41.5%, mean±SD = 44.10±14.41%) when compared with control values (median = 13.9%, mean±SD = 13.73±3.78%; p<0.01). SLE patients also had significantly higher CD69/CD3 ratio (median = 0.5, mean±SD = 0.54±0.2) as compared to controls (median = 0.2, mean±SD = 0.2±0.1). A significant positive correlation could link CD69 expression to ESR and SLEDAI score. Patients with clinical neuropsychiatric involvement had higher CD69 levels than others. CD69 expression was neither affected by the presence of lupus nephritis nor by intake of cytotoxic drugs. In conclusion the CD69 expression in peripheral blood lymphocytes of SLE patients could be a reliable marker for monitoring disease activity and is probably related to the development of neuropsychiatric disease.

ASCI-ID: 41-545

Cited References Fulltext

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