Serum BAFF and APRIL might be associated with disease activity and kidney damage in patients with anti-glomerular basement membrane disease

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Abstract

Aim

B cell activating factor belonging to the tumour necrosis factor family (BAFF) and a proliferation inducing ligand (APRIL) are two tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-like cytokines that were found to be elevated in many autoimmune diseases. Anti-glomerular basement membrane (GBM) disease is a typical severe autoimmune disease characterized by raised serum anti-GBM antibodies. In this study we aimed to detect the serum levels of BAFF and APRIL in patients with anti-GBM disease, and their clinical significance was further analyzed.

Methods

Forty-seven patients with anti-GBM disease were enrolled in this study. Forty-eight healthy individuals were used as normal controls. The levels of serum BAFF and APRIL were assessed using commercially available enzyme linked immunosorbent assay kits. The association between the levels of serum BAFF and APRIL, and the clinical and pathological parameters were further evaluated.

Results

The serum levels of BAFF and APRIL in patients with anti-GBM disease were significantly higher than that in normal controls (12.3 ± 14.1 ng/mL vs. 0.9 ± 0.3 ng/mL, P < 0.001; 19.1 ± 22.9 ng/mL vs. 1.6 ± 4.6 ng/mL, P < 0.001), respectively. The levels of serum APRIL were correlated with the titres of anti-GBM antibodies (r = 0.347, P = 0.041), and the levels of serum BAFF were associated with the percentage of glomeruli with crescents (r = 0.482, P = 0.015) in patients with anti-GBM disease.

Conclusion

The levels of serum BAFF and APRIL were raised in patients with anti-GBM disease and might be associated with disease activity and kidney damage.

Conclusion

In this manuscript the authors show for the first time that BAFF and APRIL, members of the tumour necrosis factor family that have previously been implicated in various autoimmune diseases, are elevated in the sera from patients with anti-GBM disease.

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