In this study, we examined the content of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) against defensins and cathepsin G in sera from systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients and their significance in estimating the activity of SLE. Defensins- and cathepsin G-ANCA in sera from 28 patients with SLE, eight patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and eight patients with microscopic polyangitis (mPA) were measured by ELISA. Significantly increased defensins- and cathepsin G-ANCA were found in sera of patients with SLE and mPA when compared with the value of normal controls. Though significantly higher defensins- and cathepsin G-ANCA were detected in both active and inactive SLE patients, the value in active SLE patients was significantly higher than inactive SLE patients. After the therapy with high dose of prednisolone, the serum level of defensins- and cathepsin G-ANCA was decreased, and this decrease was sustained for at least 16 weeks. This study suggests that defensins- and cathepsin G-ANCA may serve as useful markers of the disease activity of SLE.