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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 6861575, 13 pages
Research Article

Dickkopf-1 Is a Biomarker for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Active Lupus Nephritis

1The General Hospital of Ningxia Medical University, Yinchuan 750004, China
2College of Life Science, Ningxia University, Yinchuan, Ningxia 750021, China
3Department of Rheumatology, The General Hospital of Ningxia Medical University, Yinchuan 750004, China
4Institute of Human Stem Cell Research at The General Hospital of Ningxia Medical University, Yinchuan, Ningxia 750004, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Xiaoming Liu and Shuhong Chi

Received 1 July 2016; Accepted 8 December 2016; Published 8 March 2017

Academic Editor: Quanzhen Li

Copyright © 2017 Jing Xue 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.


An early diagnosis of lupus nephritis (LN) has an important clinical implication in guiding treatments of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in clinical settings. In this study, the concentrations of Wnt-3A, Frizzled-8 (FZD-8), and Dickkopf-1 (DKK-1) of Wnt signaling, as well as their diagnostic values for accessing LN, were evaluated by ELISA in sera and urine of 111 SLE patients (31 with LN and 80 without LN) and 70 healthy cohorts. Significantly more abundances of DKK-1 protein were determined in both of sera and urine of SLE patients compared to healthy cohorts (); in particular the serum DKK-1 concentration was even higher in LN-SLE patients relative to non-LN SLE subjects (). Intriguingly, concentrations of above examined proteins in SLE patients showed no correlation between serum and urine. Moreover, a combination of DKK-1 with anti-dsDNA and/or levels of complement C3 and C4 could not increase the specificity and/or sensitivity for identification of patients with LN diseases, but both ROC curve and multiple-factor nonconditional logistic regression analysis showed that serum DKK-1 was considered better positive biomarker for identification of LN in SLE patients. These results imply that serum and/or urine DKK-1 may be a valuable and independent biomarker for identification of SLE patients with LN.