Objective: To measure the levels of serum soluble CD30 (sCD30), a marker of cells producing T helper 2(Th2)-type cytokines, in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and undifferentiated connective tissue disease (UCTD), and to determine its value in assessing disease activity.
Methods: Serum levels of sCD30 were measured by ELISA in 21 patients with SLE, in 17 patients with UCTD and in 40 normal donors. Disease activity was evaluated according to the ECLAM scoring system.
Results: sCD30 values were 53.84 +/- 58.24 U/mL in SLE, 22.65 +/- 9.82 U/mL in UCTD and 5.3 +/- 5.7 in normal controls (p < 0.0005 SLE vs controls; p < 0.05 SLE vs UCTD). sCD30 levels were directly related to the disease activity (p < 0.002).
Conclusion: These data support a relationship between the Th2-type immune response and the pathogenesis of SLE, and suggest that sCD30 can be used as a simple marker for the evaluation of disease activity.