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Mannose binding lectin: a biomarker of systemic lupus erythematosus disease activity

Aditya K Panda1, Jyoti R Parida2, Rina Tripathy3, Sarit S Pattanaik2, Balachandran Ravindran1* and Bidyut K Das2*

Author Affiliations

1 Infectious Disease Biology Group, Institute of Life Sciences, Nalco Square, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, 751023, India

2 Department of Medicine, SCB Medical College, Mangalabag, Cuttack, Odisha, 753007, India

3 Department of Biochemistry, SCB Medical College, Mangalabag, Cuttack, Odisha, 753007, India

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2012, 14:R218  doi:10.1186/ar4057

Published: 15 October 2012



A role for mannose binding lectin (MBL) in autoimmune diseases has been demonstrated earlier and elevated level of MBL has been shown in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients. In the current study, we investigated MBL as a potential biomarker for disease activity in SLE.


In a case control study SLE patients (93 females) and 67 age, sex, ethnicity matched healthy controls were enrolled. Plasma MBL levels were quantified by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Clinical, serological and other markers of disease activity (C3, C4 and anti-dsDNA) were measured by standard laboratory procedures.


Plasma MBL levels were significantly high in SLE patients compared to healthy controls (P < 0.0001). MBL levels were variable in different clinical categories of SLE. Lower levels were associated with musculoskeletal and cutaneous manifestations (P = 0.002), while higher and intermediate MBL levels were significantly associated with nephritis in combination with other systemic manifestations (P = 0.01 and P = 0.04 respectively). Plasma MBL correlated with systemic lupus erythematosus disease activity index (SLEDAI) (P = 0.0003, r = 0.36), anti-dsDNA (P < 0.0001, r = 0.54), proteinuria (P < 0.0001, r = 0.42) and negatively correlated with C3 (P = 0.007, r = -0.27) and C4 (P = 0.01, r = -0.29).


Plasma MBL is a promising marker in the assessment of SLE disease activity.