Oxidative and nitrosative stress contribute to lupus disease activity

June 24, 2010, Wiley

University of Texas Medical Branch researchers have uncovered an association between free radical-mediated reactions and the severity and progression of system lupus erythematosus (SLE). Higher levels of oxidative and nitrosative stress markers were found in SLE patients with greater disease activity suggesting a causal relationship. Full findings of the study are available in the July issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Lupus, an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system produces antibodies against itself, causes inflammation, joint pain, fatigue, as well as tissue and organ damage. Approximately 1.5 million Americans and 5 million people worldwide have a form of lupus according to the Lupus Foundation of America with SLE accounting for 70% of all cases. Experts estimate that 70% to 90% of those with this chronic and potentially life-threatening disease are women.

While prior studies have suggested an association between oxidative and nitrosative stress and autoimmunity in mice, its relevance in SLE disease development and progression in humans is not fully understood. To explore the link between reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS) and SLE, M. Firoze Khan, Ph.D., and colleagues used serum from 72 patients (62 female and 10 male) with SLE and 36 healthy control subjects (31 female and 5 male) in their study. The mean age was 47.2 years for the SLE group and 43.1 years in the control. Researchers used the SLE Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI) scores to measure disease activity which ranged from 0 to 38 (mean 10.7). SLE participants were divided into 2 groups—those with a low SLEDAI score of <6 and those with a higher score of ≥6.

Blood levels of oxidative and nitrosative stress markers, including antibodies to malondialdehyde (anti-MDA), 4-hydroxynonenal (anti-HNE), MDA/HNE protein adducts, superoxide dismutase (SOD), nitrotyrosine (NT), and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) were evaluated in each sample. "Our analysis showed significantly higher levels of anti-MDA and anti-HNE antibodies (biomarkers of oxidative stress) in SLE compared with healthy controls," said Dr. Khan. Researchers also found that the levels of both these antibodies were significantly higher in lupus patients whose SLEDAI scores were greater than 6, suggesting that increased lipid peroxidation is associated with SLE disease progression.

"Our results clearly show significant increases in oxidative and nitrosative stress in patients suggesting that there is an imbalance between RONS production and antioxidant defense mechanisms in SLE," concluded Dr. Khan. "Longitudinal studies are needed to further establish how free radical-mediated reactions contribute to SLE development, and to determine the value of anti-MDA and anti-HNE antibodies in assessing the progression and severity of the disease."

More information: "Markers of Oxidative and Nitrosative Stress in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus." Gangduo Wang, Silvia S. Pierangeli, Elizabeth Papalardo, G. A. S. Ansari, and M. Firoze Khan. Arthritis & Rheumatism; Published Online: March 3, 2010 (DOI: 10.1002/art.27442); Print Issue Date: July 2010.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

New study offers insights on genetic indicators of COPD risk

January 16, 2018
Researchers have discovered that genetic variations in the anatomy of the lungs could serve as indicators to help identify people who have low, but stable, lung function early in life, and those who are particularly at risk ...

Previous influenza virus exposures enhance susceptibility in another influenza pandemic

January 16, 2018
While past exposure to influenza A viruses often builds immunity to similar, and sometimes different, strains of the virus, Canadian researchers are calling for more attention to exceptions to that rule.

Don't hold your nose and close your mouth when you sneeze, doctors warn

January 15, 2018
Pinching your nose while clamping your mouth shut to contain a forceful sneeze isn't a good idea, warn doctors in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

Surfers three times more likely to have antibiotic-resistant bacteria in guts

January 14, 2018
Regular surfers and bodyboarders are three times more likely to have antibiotic resistant E. coli in their guts than non-surfers, new research has revealed.

New antifungal provides hope in fight against superbugs

January 12, 2018
Microscopic yeast have been wreaking havoc in hospitals around the world—creeping into catheters, ventilator tubes, and IV lines—and causing deadly invasive infection. One culprit species, Candida auris, is resistant ...

Dengue takes low and slow approach to replication

January 11, 2018
A new study reveals how dengue virus manages to reproduce itself in an infected person without triggering the body's normal defenses. Duke researchers report that dengue pulls off this hoax by co-opting a specialized structure ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.