Background and aims Prolactin has an immune stimulatory effect and may promote autoimmunity by encouraging the development of antigen presenting cells expressing MHC class II and co-stimulatory molecules and modulating IFN-γ secretion. This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between circulating prolactin level and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and to establish a correlation between plasma/serum prolactin levels and SLE activity.
Methods We performed a meta-analysis comparing the plasma/serum prolactin levels in patients with SLE to controls, and examined correlation coefficients between circulating prolactin level and SLE disease activity.
Results Twenty-five studies with a total of 1056 SLE patients and 426 controls were included. Prolactin levels were significantly higher overall in the SLE group than in the control group (SMD=0.987, 95% CI=0.512–1.463, p=4.7x10-5). Stratification by ethnicity showed significantly elevated prolactin levels in the SLE group in Asian, Latin American, and mixed populations (SMD=0.813, 95% CI=0.137–1.490, p=0.018; SMD=0.981, 95% CI=0.307–1.655, p=0.004; SMD=1.469, 95% CI=0.443–2.495, p=0.005, respectively), but not in the European population. Meta-analysis of correlation coefficients showed a significantly positive correlation between circulating prolactin level and SLE activity (Correlation coefficient=0.379, 95% CI=0.026–0.487, p=4.0x10-9).
Conclusions Our meta-analysis demonstrated that circulating prolactin levels are higher in patients with SLE and that a significantly positive correlation exists between prolactin levels and SLE activity.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.