Pathways leading to an immunological disease: systemic lupus erythematosus

Olga Zharkova, Teja Celhar, Petra D. Cravens, Anne B. Satterthwaite, Anna Marie Fairhurst, Laurie S. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


SLE is a chronic autoimmune disease caused by perturbations of the immune system. The clinical presentation is heterogeneous, largely because of the multiple genetic and environmental factors that contribute to disease initiation and progression. Over the last 60 years, there have been a number of significant leaps in our understanding of the immunological mechanisms driving disease processes. We now know that multiple leucocyte subsets, together with inflammatory cytokines, chemokines and regulatory mediators that are normally involved in host protection from invading pathogens, contribute to the inflammatory events leading to tissue destruction and organ failure. In this broad overview, we discuss the main pathways involved in SLE and highlight new findings. We describe the immunological changes that characterize this form of autoimmunity. The major leucocytes that are essential for disease progression are discussed, together with key mediators that propagate the immune response and drive the inflammatory response in SLE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)i55-i66
JournalRheumatology (Oxford, England)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • SLE
  • SLE pathogenesis
  • autoantibodies
  • immunology
  • inflammation
  • systemic lupus erythematosus
  • tissue destruction
  • tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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