The P2X(7) receptor is a ligand-gated cation-selective channel that mediates ATP-induced apoptosis of cells of the immune system. A loss-of-function single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) at position 1513 (1513 A-->C) of the P2X(7) gene has recently been identified in both healthy and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) B-cells, translating into a loss of P2X(7)-mediated apoptosis in these cells. This antiapoptotic effect results in increased B-cell numbers, thereby potentially contributing to the survival of B-CLL clones. It was hypothesized that prolonged cell survival may also predispose to induction of autoimmunity. The objective of this study is to analyze the role of the P2X(7) receptor and its loss-of-function 1513 A-->C polymorphism (SNP) in the development of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). DNA samples obtained from patients with sporadic SLE were analyzed for the presence of the 1513 A-->C polymorphism using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification and then direct sequencing. No significant difference in allele frequencies (1513 A-->C polymorphism) between sporadic cases of SLE and controls was found. A loss-of-function SNP at position 1513 (1513 A-->C) of the P2X(7) gene does not appear to be a susceptibility gene locus for the development of sporadic SLE.