• Dana Mohammed Tofiq Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region, Iraq.
  • Raouf Rahim Mirza Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region, Iraq.
  • Ali Hattem Hussain Sulaimani Technical College, Sulaimani Polytechnique University, Kurdistan Region, Iraq.
  • Zaid Ramadhan Mohammed Kirkuk Directorate of Health, Iraq.



Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Interferon-α (IFN-α), Interleukin-6 (IL-6), Systemic lupus erythematosus disease activity index (SLEDAI)



Systemic lupus erythematosus is a chronic autoimmune disease affecting many organ systems with diverse clinical manifestations in association with autoantibodies to components of the cell nucleus. Cytokines, like interferon-α and interleukin-6, are important components of immune response regulation and their imbalance play an important role in the pathogenesis of the disease.


To compare the serum levels of interferon-α and interleukin-6 in systemic lupus erythematosus patients and the apparently healthy subjects, and to  find out the correlation between the serum levels of the two cytokines and the disease activity according to systemic lupus erythematosus disease activity index.


A cross-sectional analytic study conducted on 37 systemic lupus erythematosus patients. The patients were investigated for the serum level of the two cytokines, and the results were compared with those of 31 apparently healthy subjects. Then, the disease activity was measured in the patients according to systemic lupus erythematosus disease activity index and arranged into groups of different disease activity, and their corresponding cytokine levels were compared.


The serum levels of interferon-α and interleukin-6, in systemic lupus erythematosus patients were signi cantly higher than those of the healthy subjects (37.26 ± 27.58 IU/ml), (18.09 ± 21.02 pg/ml) respectively in the patients, and (13.29 ± 23.63 IU/ml), (7.10 ± 19.80 pg/ml) respectively in the healthy subjects, with p-values of (< 0.001) and (0.031) respectively. Eight (21.6%) of systemic lupus erythematosus patients had inactive disease, 9 (24.3%) had mild to moderately active disease, and 20 (54.1%) had highly active disease. There were a signi cant positive correlation between the serum levels of interleukin-6 and systemic lupus erythematosus disease activity, with p-value of (0.016), while there were no signi cant correlation between the serum levels of interferon-α and disease activity, with p-value of (0.734).


The serum levels of both cytokines in systemic lupus erythematosus patients are signi cantly higher than their levels in the serum of healthy subjects, and interleukin-6 is significantly correlated with the systemic lupus erythematosus disease activity.


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How to Cite

Tofiq D, Mirza R, Hussain A, Mohammed Z. THE CORRELATION BETWEEN INTERFERON-Α AND INTERLEUKIN-6 WITH SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS DISEASE ACTIVITY. JSMC [Internet]. 2014 Dec. 1 [cited 2024 Jun. 19];4(2):87-95. Available from:

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