The interferon (IFN)-induced enzyme 2-5A synthetase was elevated in mononuclear cells from both serum IFN-positive and -negative systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients. This suggests that a much higher percentage of patients than previously thought produce endogenous IFN. These results may partly explain findings that mononuclear cells from SLE patients are deficient in IFN production in vitro in response to certain IFN inducers. Although normal lymphocytes can produce an acid-labile alpha IFN after stimulation with C. parvum in vitro, the reason for endogenous production of this unusual alpha IFN by SLE patients remains unknown.

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