The aims of this study were to describe hormonal profiles, cytokine production and Fc-gamma receptor (FcγR) distribution in male lupus patients in Taiwan, and to look for any differences between our patients and normal individuals. Sixteen newly diagnosed and untreated male lupus patients were studied. Hormonal profiles were determined by radioimmunoassay. Interleukin- 1 (IL-1) and IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) production from both monocytes and neutrophils was determined by ELISA and murine thymocyte profileration assay. The FcγR distribution on both monocytes and neutrophils was detected by flow cytometer. There were no significant differences in FSH, LH, testosterone, oestradiol, and β-HCG blood levels in male lupus patients compared with normal individuals; however, the prolactin level in lupus patients was significantly higher than in normal individuals. Furthermore, there was no difference in IL-1 and IL-1ra production from both monocytes and neutrophils among male and female lupus patients, and normal individuals. Male lupus patients have a significantly lower FcγRII distribution on both monocytes and neutrophils when compared with female lupus patients and normal individuals. It was concluded that the high prolactin level and low FcγR distribution may play a role in the pathogenesis and prognosis of male lupus.
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