CCR5-Delta32: implications in SLE development

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Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a prototypical autoimmune disease with strong genetic and environmental components. Previous studies have shown increased levels of several chemokines in active SLE. C-C chemokine receptor type 5 (CCR5) is involved in the recruitment of inflammatory cells into tissues, and mechanisms modulating CCR5 expression and function may interfere in SLE development, influencing the clinical course of the disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate the possible association between the CCR5Δ32 base-pair deletion polymorphism and SLE disease in a group of Portuguese patients. A total of 219 patients with SLE and 205 healthy individuals were studied. The frequency of CCR5/Δ32 heterozygotes was lower in patients with SLE than in controls (8% vs. 15% OR = 0.5162; P = 0.0319), suggesting a protective association between CCR5Δ32 allele and SLE. These results highlight the protective role of Th1 cells that express CCR5 in SLE pathogenesis.

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