Triglyceride and high-density lipoprotein levels as the markers of disease activity and their association with TNF-α and TNF receptor system in systemic lupus erythematosus

Abstract: Objective: There are some clues that measurement of triglyceride (TG) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and their correlation with tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), soluble TNF-α receptor type 1 and type 2 (sTNFR1, sTNFR2) in serum could be valuable in the assessment of disease activity of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, fasting blood samples were obtained from 86 SLE patients referred to the Rheumatology Research Center of Tehran University in Shariati Hospital, Iran. Disease activity was determined by using the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI). TG and HDL obtained after overnight fasting were analysed by routine chemistry. Levels of circulating TNF-α, sTNFR1, and sTNFR2 were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: Triglyceride levels were associated with SLEDAI (r = 0.59, P < 0.001), TNF-α (r = 0.27, P < 0.01), and with sTNFR1 (r = 0.54, P < 0.001); on the contrary, HDL levels were negatively associated with SLEDAI (r = –0.29, P < 0.007), TNF-α (r = –0.27, P < 0.01), and sTNFR1 (r = –0.35, P < 0.001). The correlation of TG and HDL with sTNFR2 were (r = 0.13, P > 0.23) and (r = –0.17, P > 0.1), respectively. In multiple logistic regression models, the levels of TNF-α and HDL were omitted. Conclusion: Dyslipoproteinemia with high TG/low HDL levels correlates with disease activity in SLE, and enhanced activity in the TNF-α/sTNFR system. With results of this study and the same studies, serum levels of TG, HDL, TNF-α, sTNFR1, sTNFR2 are valuable markers for estimation of disease activity in SLE. Key words: high-density lipoprotein, systemic lupus erythematosus, the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index, triglyceride, tumor necrosis factor alpha.