The goal of this study was to characterize gene expression profiles in RNP autoantibody+ SLE versus healthy blood donors with a focus on select cytokines that may be important in B cell activation and differentiation, including BAFF, IL-21, and IL-33. We utilized Affymetrix microarrays to characterize the global program of gene expression in the SLE patients, and to identify differentially expressed genes in patients compared to healthy controls. We examined a cohort of 79 consecutive patients classified as anti-ribonuclear protein (anti-RNP)+ systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). All patients provided RNA samples obtained after providing informed consent. There were 73 female and 6 male subjects. Disease duration ranged from 0 to 453 months with a median of 37.5 months. SLE Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI) ranged from 0 to 31 with a median of 6.