Longitudinal expression of type I interferon responsive genes in systemic lupus erythematosus

Lupus. 2009 Oct;18(11):980-9. doi: 10.1177/0961203309105529.


Cross-sectional studies of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have demonstrated an association between activation of type I interferon (IFN) pathway and disease activity. This study examined longitudinal changes in IFN-regulated gene expression in peripheral blood using microarrays. A cross-section of 66 patients from the Autoimmune Biomarkers Collaborative Network SLE archive was evaluated. We also examined paired samples from a 15 patient subset collected during a period of low disease activity (Baseline) and at a subsequent flare event, and baseline scores of 29 patients who maintained low disease activity. IFN response (IFNr) scores were calculated from three IFN-regulated genes. Overall, higher IFNr scores were associated with increased disease activity. However, IFNr scores were not significantly different between the paired Baseline and Flare samples. An extended longitudinal analysis in 11 patients indicated little change in IFNr scores over time, even during dynamic disease activity. In patients with low disease activity, IFNr scores were not different between patients who experienced a subsequent flare and those who maintained low disease activity. In summary, although higher IFNr scores were associated with greater disease activity, IFNr scores of individual patients did not correlate with changes in disease severity or flare risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Interferon Type I / genetics
  • Interferon Type I / immunology*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / genetics*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / physiopathology
  • Microarray Analysis
  • Middle Aged
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Biomarkers
  • Interferon Type I