Sex Hormones and Prolactin Levels and Their Association with Anti Cardiolipin Antibody in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is complex and multi-factorial. Among various suggested mechanisms for the disease, the hormonal theory has been considered as one of the most important mechanisms. Recently, the association of sex hormones with manifestations of antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APLS) has been hypothesized. The aim of present study was to assess the serum levels of anticardiolipin antibody (ACA), sex hormones and prolactin in SLE female patients and their association with the disease. This study comprised 40 SLE female patients and 41 healthy age-matched female subjects. For all patients and controls, the serum levels of ACA (IgG and IgM), estradiol, testosterone, progesterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) and prolactin were measured by ELISA method. Our study revealed that serum levels of testosterone, DHEA-S and progesterone were significantly lower in SLE patients than control (p<0.001). However, serum levels of estradiol and prolactin were significantly higher in SLE patients compared to controls (p<0.001). There was a significant difference between mild and moderate severity patients group for ACA positivity (95% CI 13.67-41.3; p=0.03). Also, SLE patients with positive ACA showed significantly lower (p<0.001) serum levels of testosterone, DHEA-S and progesterone and significantly higher (p<0.001) estradiol and prolactin serum levels compared to negative ACA patients. The results of our study indicated that expression and metabolism of sex hormones and prolactin are different in female SLE patients compared to healthy subjects. It seems, change in serum levels of these hormones is related to higher SLE disease activity, increased thrombotic risks and increased renal involvement.
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