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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2015, Article ID 435658, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/435658
Research Article

Prolactin and Dehydroepiandrosterone Levels in Women with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: The Role of the Extrapituitary Prolactin Promoter Polymorphism at −1149G/T

1Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27834, USA
2National Human Genome Research Institute, Rockville, MD 20892, USA
3FDA-National Center for Toxicological Research, Jefferson, AR 72079, USA

Received 2 January 2015; Revised 27 April 2015; Accepted 28 April 2015

Academic Editor: Lingyun Sun

Copyright © 2015 Edward L. Treadwell et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) has shown an association with high levels of prolactin, low levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and induction of inflammatory cytokines in the serum of patients with the disease. This preliminary study examined the relevance of a −1149G/T functional single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) (rs1341239) in the promoter of the extrapituitary prolactin gene in a cohort of African American and European American women with lupus. Examination of this SNP revealed that the −1149TT genotype was correlated with higher levels of prolactin in serum and prolactin gene expression () in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Lower levels of DHEA in serum were demonstrated in lupus patients (); those with the −1149TT genotype had the lowest levels of DHEA. Furthermore, a small subset of women who were on DHEA therapy and had a TT genotype showed a significant decrease in prolactin gene expression and lower disease activity scores (SLEDAI). Lupus patients, particularly African Americans, had significantly higher levels of IL-6 () and TNF-α (). This study suggests that the −1149TT genotype may be a risk factor for lupus and may predict who could possibly benefit from DHEA therapy; therefore, these results should be validated in a larger cohort with all ethnic groups.