Deficient gamma-interferon production in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus

Arthritis Rheum. 1986 Oct;29(10):1210-5. doi: 10.1002/art.1780291005.


We examined the ability of peripheral mononuclear cells (MNC) from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) to produce gamma-interferon (gamma-IFN) in vitro. MNC from patients with SLE produced varying amounts of gamma-IFN upon mitogenic stimulation. However, they produced distinctly decreased amounts of gamma-IFN upon in vitro stimulation with interleukin-2 (IL-2). Deficient production seemed to be primary, rather than secondary to either excessive monocytic suppression or failure of IL-2 to bind to the MNC surface membranes. gamma-IFN-specific RNA transcription, as determined by slot-blot analysis, was severely decreased in MNC that had been stimulated with phytohemagglutinin or IL-2. These findings suggest that MNC of patients with SLE have defects in the IL-2 signal transduction which is required for production of gamma-IFN.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis*
  • Interferon-gamma / genetics
  • Interleukin-2
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology*
  • Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Phytohemagglutinins / pharmacology
  • RNA / analysis


  • Interleukin-2
  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • RNA
  • Interferon-gamma