Objective: To investigate the correlations among plasma concentrations of nitric oxide (NO), soluble thrombomodulin (sTM) and vascular cell adhesion molecule (sVCAM-1), and whether these three molecules are associated with renal involvement in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Methods: Plasma NO concentrations of 73 SLE patients (35 with renal disease, RSLE patients; 38 without renal disease, SLE patients) and 28 age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects were measured by the non-enzymatic Griess assay, and sTM and sVCAM-1 by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Results: In RSLE patients, plasma nitrite concentrations were significantly higher than in control subjects (P=0.009) and correlated positively with plasma sTM, plasma creatinine and urea (all P<0.05). Plasma sTM and sVCAM-1 concentrations were significantly elevated in RSLE and SLE patients (both P<0.0001) compared with controls. Plasma sTM was significantly correlated with plasma sVCAM-1, and both were correlated with plasma creatinine and urea and the SLE Disease Activity Index (all P<0.05).
Conclusion: Elevated plasma NO, sTM, and sVCAM-1 concentrations have significant intercorrelations and are strongly associated with renal involvement in SLE.