Correlation between levels of TNF-alpha and IL-6 and hematological involvement in SLE Egyptian patients with lupus nephritis

Int Urol Nephrol. 2006;38(3-4):731-7. doi: 10.1007/s11255-006-0047-9. Epub 2007 Jan 27.


Background: Systemic lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a rheumatic autoimmune disease characterized by multisystem organ involvement and by high titers of auto antibodies against several nuclear and cytoplasmic antigens. Numerous abnormalities of the cytokine network have been described in patients suffering from SLE. However the role of cytokines in different organ involvement is not yet well defined.

Objective: To determine if levels of Interlukin-6 (IL-6) and Tumor necrosis factor (TNF-alpha) correlate with SLE disease activity in Egyptian SLE patients and more specifically with hematological involvement.

Methods: Levels of TNF-alpha and IL-6 in serum samples from sixty individuals (40 with Systemic lupus Erythmatosus and 20 healthy controls) were determined and renal biopsies were obtained from SLE patients.

Results: Levels of TNF-alpha and IL-6 were higher in SLE patients with active compared with inactive hematological disease. Further analysis showed that this association was dependent on inverse correlation (P=0.017, r=-0.49) for IL-6 and (P=0.76, r=-.243) for TNF-alpha. The mean level of TNF-alpha and Il-6 was (766.95+/-357.82 pg/ml) and (135.4+/-54.23 pg/ml) respectively for patients with active disease while it was (314.01+/-100.87 pg/ml) and (47.33+/-18.61 pg/ml) for those with inactive disease and (172.7+/-39.19 pg/ml) and (21.15+/-10.99 pg/ml) for the healthy control group respectively. The difference was statistically significant (P=0.002). We found significant positive correlations between TNF-alpha and IL-6 and the SLE Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI) score. (r=+0.743 and +0.772 respectively).

Conclusion: Raised level of Il-6 and TNF-alpha may influence the development of anemia in Egyptian patients with Lupus Nephritis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Egypt
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / blood*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / blood*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications*
  • Lupus Nephritis / blood*
  • Lupus Nephritis / complications*
  • Male
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood*


  • Interleukin-6
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha