Objective - To compare the activity of calcineurin in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of 32 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and 35 healthy controls. Methods - The activity of calcineurin was assayed in the supernatants of sonicated mononuclear cells. Results - There was no significant difference in the calcineurin activity of patients with SLE not taking glucocorticosteroids (GCS) compared with the healthy controls. On the other hand, the activity of calcineurin was reduced in patients with SLE taking GCS, correlating negatively with the dose of GCS. The stimulation of PBMC by phorbol ester and calcium ionophore decreased the calcineurin activity both in patients with SLE and in healthy controls. GCS could also reduce calcineurin activity in the mononuclear cells of healthy subjects in vitro. Conclusions - In patients with SLE the decrease in the calcineurin activity of PBMC depended on the dose of GCS used for treatment, and it was not a disease specific alteration. The higher the dose of GCS, the greater the inhibition of calcineurin activity. The reduction of calcineurin activity is a new element in the immunosuppressive effects of GCS during the treatment of patients with SLE.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)