The cytokine network in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus and possible therapeutic implications

  • David A. Horwitz
  • Chaim O. Jacob


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is considered to be the prototype of human autoimmune diseases. It is a disorder of generalized autoimmunity characterized by multisystem organ involvement and autoantibodies against nuclear, cytoplasmic, and cell surface antigens. The mechanisms responsible for the breakdown of tolerance against these self antigens are unknown. Abnormalities of T cells, B cells and antigen-presenting cells result in immune dysregulation, especially in patients with active disease. There is B cell hyperactivity with polyclonal B cell activation and autoantibody formation. By contrast, there is decreased cellular immunity with impaired T cell and natural killer (NK) cell effector functions leading to decreased host defense [50]. For many years investigators have searched for primary abnormalities of T cells which are important in pathogenesis. Most of the T cell abnormalities, however, appear to reflect dysregulation as a consequence of the disease.


Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Patient Lupus Nephritis Active Systemic Lupus Erythematosus TNFa Production 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Horwitz
    • 1
  • Chaim O. Jacob
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Rheumatology and Immunology, Department of MedicineUniversity of Southern California School of MedicineLos AngelesUSA

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