OBJECTIVE: E-cadherin is a potent adherens junction molecule implicated in tissue morphogenesis, epithelial functioning, and immune regulation. Serum levels of soluble E-cadherin (sE-cadherin), an end product of proteolytic cleavage of E-cadherin, is increased in patients with cancer, infections, and inflammation-related diseases. The aim of our study was to measure serum levels of sE-cadherin in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and to determine associations between serum levels of sE-cadherin and markers of inflammation and organ damage in female patients with SLE.
METHODS: Serum levels of sE-cadherin were analyzed by ELISA in 150 female patients with SLE and 31 healthy women. Simple and multiple regression analyses between sE-cadherin levels and disease-related variables were performed in patients with SLE.
RESULTS: Serum levels of sE-cadherin were elevated in patients with SLE compared with levels in healthy controls. sE-cadherin levels correlated positively with age, disease duration, SLE Collaborating Clinics Damage Index, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), s-creatinine, cholesterol, triglycerides, interleukin 6, and matrix metalloproteinase-3. In multiple regression analysis, s-creatinine, age, ESR, and triglycerides remained determinants of sE-cadherin. Within the patients with SLE, higher sE-cadherin levels were found only in patients with renal damage, i.e., s-creatinine > 90 μmol/l, glomerular filtration rate < 50 ml/min, or renal involvement ever by SLE.
CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrates significantly elevated serum levels of sE-cadherin in women with SLE compared with healthy women. The levels of sE-cadherin were positively correlated to s-creatinine, age, ESR, and triglycerides. Significantly elevated sE-cadherin levels were observed only in patients with renal damage.
2013. Vol. 40, no 10, 1677-82 p.