Our objective was to investigate the serum levels of interferon-inducible protein-10 (IP-10) in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and their correlation with disease activity and organ manifestations. Serum IP-10 levels were assessed in 464 SLE patients and 50 healthy donors. Disease activity was assessed by the revised SLE Activity Measure, and the concomitant active organ manifestations, anti-ds DNA antibody titres, complement levels and erythrocyte sedimentation rates recorded. Peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) synthesis of IP-10 in SLE patients and controls was determined by in vitro cultures stimulated with mitogen or lipopolysaccharide. Elevated serum IP-10 levels were observed in SLE patients, which were significantly higher in the presence of active haematological and mucocutaneous manifestations. SLE PBMCs exhibited enhanced spontaneous IP-10 production in vitro. Serial IP-10 levels correlated with longitudinal change in SLE activity, even at low levels where anti-dsDNA antibody and complement levels remain unchanged. These data demonstrate that IP-10 levels are increased in SLE and serum IP-10 may represent a more sensitive marker for monitoring disease activity than standard serological tests.