Dysregulation of complement factor H in juvenile-onset systemic lupus erythematosus patients
Eman Eissa1, Botros Morcos1, Dalia Dorgham2, Naglaa Kholoussi1
1Department of Immunogenetics, National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt
2Department of Rheumatology and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
Keywords: Complement factor H, factor H autoantibodies, juvenile-onset systemic lupus erythematosus, nephritis
Objectives: This study aims to evaluate the expression pattern of factor H in peripheral blood and the frequency of factor H autoantibodies in plasma of juvenile-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (jSLE) patients compared to healthy controls.
Patients and methods: Between March 2019 and October 2019, a total of 30 healthy individuals (3 males, 27 females; mean age: 26±7.4 years; range, 18 to 40 years) and 65 jSLE patients (age of onset ≤16 years) (2 males, 63 females; mean age: 23.4±7 years; range, 15 to 38 years) were included. Factor H expression pattern was examined in blood of all subjects using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and the frequency of factor H autoantibodies was estimated in plasma using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Results: Factor H expression was significantly downregulated in jSLE patients compared to healthy controls (p<0.01). A significant underexpression of factor H was observed in jSLE patients with nephritis compared to those without nephritis (p<0.03), while there was no association of factor H expression levels with any of the other clinical and serological features, disease activity or disease damage index of patients. Only 5% of jSLE patients were positive for factor H autoantibodies without any correlations with the clinical data or disease activity of patients.
Conclusion: Our study results suggest that factor H expression can be dysregulated in jSLE patients.