Background: Systemic Lupus Eyrythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease charac-terized by antibodies to nuclear antigens, particularly anti-dsDNA. Imbalance between production and destruction of immune cells causes cytopenia. Sex hormones have im-munomodulatory effects; estrogen increases the production of autoantibodies in SLE prone NZB/NZW mice.
Objective: To investigate the relationship between sex hor-mones, anti-dsDNA, and lymphocyte subsets in Iranian patients with SLE.
Methods: 38 SLE patients (28 females and 10 males) meeting 4 of 11 ACR revised criteria for SLE classification, and 20 age and sex matched healthy individuals (10 females and 10 males) participated in this study. Lymphocyte subsets were analyzed using flow cy-tometric analysis. Serum anti-dsDNA levels and sex hormones concentrations were de-termined using commercial ELISA and RIA kits, respectively.
Results: The absolute count of white blood cells, lymphocytes, T lymphocytes (CD3+), T helper cells (CD3+CD4+), B cells (CD19+) and Nk cells (CD3- CD16+CD56+) in SLE patients di-minished significantly in comparison to control group (p<0.05). IgG anti-dsDNA anti-body levels were significantly higher in patients compared to controls as expected (p<0.05). Prolactin increased significantly, while DHEAS showed a significant decrease in SLE patients compared with the controls (p<0.05), however the level of estrogen did not have any significant difference in SLE patients in comparison to controls.
Conclusion: Increased concentration of prolactin together with a simultaneous decrease in serum DHEAS in SLE patients are associated with anti-dsDNA elevation and a decrease in almost all lymphocyte subsets.