Journal of Clinical Immunology

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 111–117 | Cite as

Glucocorticoid Regulates Interleukin-37 in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

  • Lijun Song
  • Feng Qiu
  • Yuchen Fan
  • Feng Ding
  • Huaxiang Liu
  • Qiang Shu
  • Weiwei Liu
  • Xingfu LiEmail author
Original Research


The aim of this study was to research the expression of IL-37 in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients and the effect of glucocorticoid on IL-37. Thirty newly diagnosed severe SLE patients receiving prednisone 1 mg/kg/day for 14 consecutive days and 30 healthy subjects were enrolled into this study. The plasma levels of IL-37 and other cytokines were detected by ELISA and the relative mRNA amounts of IL-37 and other cytokines were detected by RT-PCR. The plasma levels of IL-37, IL-18, IL-18BP, IFN-γ, and IL-6 in SLE patients increased significantly compared with healthy controls (p < 0.05). The relative amount of IL-37 mRNA increased by 2.45-fold in pre-treatment SLE patients compared with controls (p < 0.05). Plasma concentrations of IL-37 correlated with IL-18, IL-18BP, IFN-γ, IL-6 and SLEDAI score in both pre-treatment and post-treatment SLE patients. The plasma levels of IL-37 decreased significantly after treatment of glucocorticoid. The relative amount of IL-37 mRNA decreased by 24.5 % in post-treatment SLE patients compared with pre-treatment ones (p < 0.01). In conclusion, IL-37 is upregulated in active SLE patients. IL-37 is correlated with pro-inflammatory cytokines and SLEDAI. Glucocorticoid can downregulate the expression of IL-37 and other cytokines in SLE patients.


Systemic lupus erythematosus interleukin-37 glucocorticoid SLEDAI 



This work was supported by grants from the Independent Innovation Foundation of Shandong University (No. 2012TS136) and the Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province (No. ZR2010HQ040).

Conflict of Interest Statement

The authors declare that that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lijun Song
    • 1
  • Feng Qiu
    • 1
  • Yuchen Fan
    • 2
  • Feng Ding
    • 1
  • Huaxiang Liu
    • 1
  • Qiang Shu
    • 1
  • Weiwei Liu
    • 1
  • Xingfu Li
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of RheumatologyQilu Hospital, Shandong UniversityJinanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of HepatologyQilu Hospital, Shandong UniversityJinanChina

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