Serum alarm antiproteases in systemic sclerosis patients

Hum Immunol. 2017 Sep;78(9):559-564. doi: 10.1016/j.humimm.2017.06.002. Epub 2017 Jun 9.


Alarm antiproteases, i.e. secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor ad elafin, are key mediators in innate immune response and integrate innate and adaptive immunity systems. The aim of the study was to assess clinical significance of serum levels of alarm antiproteases, elafin and secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI) in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). Twenty-eight patients with SSc, 25 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and 22 healthy controls were recruited. Serum elafin and SLPI levels were examined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The patients with SSc had significantly increased serum levels of SLPI in comparison with the RA patients and the healthy controls (p<0.01), and the RA patients presented significantly higher serum levels of elafin in comparison with the controls (p=0.003). In the SSc subgroup serum SLPI level negatively correlated with diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (DLCO) (r=-0.41, p=0.03) and total lung capacity (r=-0.42, p=0.03). Both alarm antiproteases, elafin and SLPI could be potentially implicated in the pathogenesis of SSc and SLPI may be considered a candidate for serum biomarker of lung involvement in SSc.

Keywords: Elafin; Rheumatoid arthritis; Secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor; Systemic sclerosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnosis
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology*
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Elafin / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Protease Inhibitors / blood*
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / diagnosis
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / immunology*
  • Secretory Leukocyte Peptidase Inhibitor / blood*
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Elafin
  • Protease Inhibitors
  • SLPI protein, human
  • Secretory Leukocyte Peptidase Inhibitor