Anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 could be a biomarker for lupus

Lead researcher

Dr. Ina Rudloff and Mr. Jack Godsell

Main finding

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a very severe, potentially fatal autoimmune disease that is characterised by excessive inflammation and can affect every organ. Up to now, neither a reliable biomarker to predict disease progression nor an effective and safe therapy exist. We investigated two very potent anti-inflammatory cytokines, interleukin (IL)-10 and IL-37, in the largest cohort of SLE patients studied to date and found a strong association of IL-10, but not IL-37, with SLE disease activity.


The Ritchie Centre

Research group

Interventional Immunology in Neonatal Diseases and Beyond (TRC) and Rheumatology Group (CID at SCS)


Dr. Rangi Kandane-Rathnayake, Dr. Alberta Hoi, A/Prof. Marcel F. Nold, Prof. Eric F. Morand, Dr. James Harris

Journal and article title

Most surprising

IL-10 serum concentration is not only associated with disease activity, but is also higher in patients of Asian ethnicity and is associated with complications such as renal involvement. Moreover, IL-10 serum concentration is predictive of subsequent SLE disease severity.

Future implications

Our data suggest that IL-10 may have potential as a biomarker predictive of disease activity in SLE which may help clinicians in the future to decide which patients are likely to develop a more severe form of SLE and thus need more intensive treatment.

Disease/health impact

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)