The function of the reticuloendothelial system (RES) is important for deposition of circulating immune complexes (IC) in tissue. However, little is known about how IC located in tissues in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Splenic Fc-Receptor function (SFcF) was studied in 29 patients with SLE using IgG coated (51)Cr labelled autologous erythrocytes, and was compared with immunological abnormalities in sera and kidney. Impairment of SFcF was found in 21 of the patients (72.4%). There was a close inverse correlation between SFcF and CH50 (p<0.05). Patients with impaired SFcF tended to have a high level of circulating IC, but this was not statistically significant (p>0.05). A marked decrease in SFcF was found in patients with mesangial lupus nephritis and those with diffuse proliferative lupus nephritis. Patients with membranous lupus nephritis showed a mild SFcF abnormality. Decreased SFcF was reversible by steroid and/or plasma exchange (PE) therapy. Decreased SFcF could be improved after PE therapy alone. It was suggested that an abnormality in SFcF might force the progress of the diesase in patients with SLE.
Splenic Fc-receptor Function
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus