Interleukin 17 (IL-17) is a Th17 cytokine associated with inflammation, autoimmunity and defense against some bacteria, it has been implicated in many chronic autoimmune diseases including psoriasis, multiple sclerosis and systemic sclerosis. However, whether IL-17 plays a role in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) remains unclear. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the serum IL-17 level in patients with SLE and it’s associations with disease manifestations and activity. Fifty-seven patients with SLE and 30 healthy volunteers were recruited. Serum IL-17 levels were examined by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Statistic analyzes were performed by SPSS 10.01. Results show that serum IL-17 levels were significantly elevated in SLE patients as compared with normal controls. Nevertheless, no associations of serum IL-17 level with clinical and laboratory parameters were found; no significant difference regarding serum IL-17 level between SLE patients with nephritis and those without nephritis was found; no significant difference was found between Less active SLE and More active SLE; Correlation analysis between serum IL-17 levels and SLEDAI showed no association. Taken together, our results indicate increased serum IL-17 levels in SLE patients, suggesting that this cytokine may trigger the inflammatory process in SLE. However, no associations of serum IL-17 level with disease manifestations were found. Therefore, further studies are required to confirm this preliminary data.
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