Relationship of Glutathione S-transferase Genotypes With Side-Effects of Pulsed Cyclophosphamide Therapy in Patients With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2006 Oct;62(4):457-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2006.02690.x.


Aims: Cyclophosphamide (CTX) is an established treatment of severe systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Cytotoxic CTX metabolites are mainly detoxified by multiple glutathione S-transferases (GSTs). However, data are lacking on the relationship between the short-term side-effects of CTX therapy and GST genotypes. In the present study, the effects of common GSTM1, GSTT1, and GSTP1 genetic mutations on the severity of myelosuppression, gastrointestinal (GI) toxicity, and infection incidences induced by pulsed CTX therapy were evaluated in patients SLE.

Methods: DNA was extracted from peripheral leucocytes in patients with confirmed SLE diagnosis (n = 102). GSTM1 and GSTT1 null mutations were analyzed by a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-multiplex procedure, whereas the GSTP1 codon 105 polymorphism (Ile-->Val) was analyzed by a PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) assay.

Results: Our study demonstrated that SLE patients carrying the genotypes with GSTP1 codon 105 mutation [GSTP1*-105I/V (heterozygote) and GSTP1*-105 V/V (homozygote)] had an increased risk of myelotoxicity when treated with pulsed high-dose CTX therapy (Odds ratio (OR) 5.00, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.96, 12.76); especially in patients younger than 30 years (OR 7.50, 95% CI 2.14, 26.24), or in patients treated with a total CTX dose greater than 1.0 g (OR 12.88, 95% CI 3.16, 52.57). Similarly, patients with these genotypes (GSTP1*I/V and GSTP1*V/V) also had an increased risk of GI toxicity when treated with an initial pulsed high-dose CTX regimen (OR 3.33, 95% CI 1.03, 10.79). However, GSTM1 and GSTT1 null mutations did not significantly alter the risks of these short-term side-effects of pulsed high-dose CTX therapy in SLE patients.

Conclusions: The GSTP1 codon 105 polymorphism, but not GSTM1 or GSTT1 null mutations, significantly increased the risks of short-term side-effects of pulsed high-dose CTX therapy in SLE patients. Because of the lack of selective substrates for a GST enzyme phenotyping study, timely detection of this mutation on codon 105 may assist in optimizing pulsed high-dose CTX therapy in SLE patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bone Marrow Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage
  • Cyclophosphamide / adverse effects*
  • Cyclophosphamide / metabolism
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Glutathione Transferase / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects*
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / metabolism
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / drug therapy
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / genetics*
  • Male


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Glutathione Transferase