Analysis of urinary macrophage migration inhibitory factor in systemic lupus erythematosus

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Objective To characterise the clinical relevance of urinary macrophage migration inhibitory factor (uMIF) concentrations in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Methods MIF, adjusted for urine creatinine, was quantified by ELISA in urine samples from 64 prospectively recruited patients with SLE. Serum MIF and urinary monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (uMCP-1) were quantified by ELISA in a subset of patients (n = 39). Disease activity was assessed using the SLE Disease Activity Index-2000 (SLEDAI-2K) score. Results uMIF was detectable in all patients with SLE. uMIF was positively correlated with overall SLEDAI-2K, was significantly higher in patients with SLE with high disease activity (SLEDAI-2K≥10) compared with those with inactive disease (SLEDAI-2K<4), and this association remained significant after adjusting for ethnicity, flare and use of immunosuppressants. uMIF was also significantly higher in SLE patients with flare of disease, although not confirmed in multivariable analysis. No significant differences in uMIF levels were observed according to the presence of renal disease activity, as assessed by renal SLEDAI-2K or biopsy-confirmed lupus nephritis. In contrast, uMCP-1 was significantly higher in SLE patients with active renal disease. uMIF expression was not associated with irreversible organ damage accrual or glucocorticoid use. Conclusions These data suggest uMIF as a potential overall but not renal-specific SLE biomarker, whereas uMCP-1 is a renal-specific SLE biomarker.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere000277
Number of pages10
JournalLupus Science and Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • biomarker
  • lupus nephritis
  • macrophage migration inhibitory factor
  • monocyte chemoattractant protein 1
  • systemic lupus erythematosus

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