Impaired production of IL-12 in system lupus erythematosus. II: IL-12 production in vitro is correlated negatively with serum IL-10, positively with serum IFN-gamma and negatively with disease activity in SLE

Cytokine. 1998 Feb;10(2):148-53. doi: 10.1006/cyto.1997.0269.


Interleukin 12 (IL-12) is a key cytokine in regulating type 1 or type 2 cytokine production and in determining the nature of immune responses. Our previous studies demonstrated that its production was significantly impaired in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients and this deficient IL-12 production was mainly mediated by excessive endogenous IL-10. The present study was designed to further reveal the relationships of in vitro IL-12 production with abnormalities of in vivo cytokine synthesis and disease activity in SLE. Experimental results showed that IL-12 production in vitro was inversely correlated with serum IL-10 level, anti-ds DNA antibody level and SLE disease activity index (DAI), but positively correlated with serum interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) level, with which serum IL-10 correlated negatively. Data also showed that serum IL-10 was significantly higher than that of controls and closely correlated with anti-ds DNA antibody level and SLEDAI. The study confirms that deficient IL-12 production in SLE patients is associated with in vivo abnormalities of cytokine production, especially with increased IL-10 production.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies / blood
  • DNA / immunology
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-10 / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-12 / metabolism*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / metabolism*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / physiopathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Antibodies
  • Interleukin-10
  • Interleukin-12
  • Interferon-gamma
  • DNA