ABSTRACT: The number of CD27++ plasma cells (PCs) in peripheral blood may be a valuable biomarker for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) disease management. More insights into the behavior of the PC population are, however, required to validate CD27 as a reliable biomarker. In the current study, we have monitored the PC compartment of patients with acute bacterial infections and patients with SLE and, in addition, examined the relationship between the presence of serum antinuclear antibodies (ANAs) and the number of peripheral PCs. Kinetic analyses in patients with bacterial infection revealed a 10-60-fold expansion of the CD27++ PC compartment that peaked at day 2-5 and returned toward normal values at day 7-9 after hospital admission. The transient expansion of the PC population appeared to be a late phenomenon in the process of recovering from a bacterial infection. SLE subjects had significantly increased frequencies of PCs compared with patients suspected of a connective tissue disease and healthy controls. In patients suspected of a connective tissue disease, no relationship was found between the presence of serum ANAs and the number of CD27++ PCs. Additionally, the presence of serum ANAs was not associated with abnormalities in other peripheral B-cell subsets. It remains to be established at which stage of SLE development the expansion of the PC compartment is initiated.
Journal of Clinical Immunology 10/2007; 27(5):467-76. · 3.08 Impact Factor