Abstract: Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-?) is a highly pleiotropic cytokine that has broad anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects. In patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the immunosuppressive effect of TGF-?1 is thought to be dysfunctional. In the present work, we aimed to study the relationship between the serum levels of TGF-?1 with the characteristics of the disease as well as with the patterns of activity, damage, or severity of the disease. Two hundred and eighty-four patients with well-characterized SLE were recruited. The serum levels of TGF-?1 were assessed. A multivariable linear regression analysis was performed to analyze the relation of disease characteristics to TGF-?1. The Katz severity index (beta coefficient 179 [95% confidence interval 7?350] pg/mL, p = 0.041) and SLEDAI activity index (beta coefficient 96 [95% CI 20?171] pg/mL, p = 0.014) were associated with higher serum levels of TGF-?1 after the multivariable analysis. When the disease-specific features were studied, ocular and cardiovascular manifestations were positively associated with serum TGF-?1 levels. In contrast, gastrointestinal and musculoskeletal involvements were associated with lower levels of circulating TGF-?1. Among patients with SLE, the serum levels of TGF-?1 were highly associated with disease-related manifestations.
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