Tubulointerstitial nephritis is a less frequently recognized but important complication of systemic lupus erythematosus. We have investigated the cytokine β<sub>2</sub>-microglobulin (β<sub>2</sub>M) and Tamm-Horsfall glycoprotein (THG) excretions in the urine of systemic lupus erythematosus patients to identify indices for evaluation of tubulointerstitial inflammation in lupus nephritis (LN). Daily urine was collected from 15 patients with active LN, from 12 patients with inactive LN, and from 17 normal subjects. The amounts of soluble interleukin (IL) 2 receptor, IL-6, IL-8, β<sub>2</sub>M, and THG in urine were measured. β<sub>2</sub>M and THG were regarded as indicators of proximal and distal renal tubule function, respectively. The urinary excretions of IL-6 and IL-8 were significantly higher in patients with active LN than in those with inactive LN and in normal individuals. The excretion of soluble IL-2 receptor in all three groups of subjects was not significantly different. On the other hand, the excretion of β<sub>2</sub>M in patients with LN was significantly higher than that in normal individuals. The excretion of β<sub>2</sub>M in patients with active or inactive LN was not significantly different. The THG excretion was lower in patients with active LN and tubulointerstitial inflammation as compared with patients with inactive LN or normal individuals. Six patients underwent pulse cyclophosphamide therapy during the course of experiments. Five of them showed a decrease in IL-8 and IL-6 excretions in urine after the treatment. The excretions of β<sub>2</sub>M and THG in urine, in addition to IL-6 and IL-8, can reflect the renal inflammatory activity in patients with lupus tubulointerstitial nephritis as well as in those having lupus glomerulonephritis.