The susceptibility of women to autoimmune diseases is well-documented, of which systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is especially important. The use of oral contraceptives often activate SLE from a quiescent condition. The inductive effect of estrogen has been shown in animal studies indicating that female hormones can trigger autoimmune reaction. The effect of ethinyl estradiol, an estrogen (E), and d-norgestrel, a progesterone (P), on the mitogenic response of peripheral lymphocytes, and particularly on phytohemagglutinin (PHA)- and concanavalin-A (Con-A)-induced blastic transformation of lymphocytes (LBT) was studied in vitro. 25 patients with SLE and 27 healthy controls participated in the study. SLE was inactive in 16 patients, 7 took corticosteroids, and 3 also received 50 mg/day Imuran. 13 patients and 10 controls took contraceptives (Bisecurin, Infecundin, Ovidon, Rigevidon). The LBT value fell significantly in patients with active SLE, in contraceptive users, and the value was significantly lower in inactive patients than in those not using contraceptives. E and P separately or together significantly reduced LBT values. Contraceptives containing P only can be prescribed for women suffering from SLE, as its role in inducing the disease compared to E is negligible.
|Pages (from-to)||2677-2678, 2681|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 20 1987|
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