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Lupus. 2001;10(4):284-8.

A possible role of apoptosis for regulating autoreactive responses in systemic lupus erythematosus.

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  • 1Third Department of Internal Medicine, Kinki University School of Medicine, Osaka-Sayama, Osaka, Japan. funauchi@med.kindai.ac.jp


It has been reported that apoptotic cells are increased in the peripheral blood from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), where dysfunctions of T helper 1 (Th1) cells are known. In order to study whether apoptosis of Th1 cells is associated with the pathogenesis of SLE, early apoptotic cells in various T-cell subsets were detected using fluorescence-labeled annexin V (AnV). AnV binding was most frequently observed in CD4+CCR5+ T cells, and AnV binding rate (%) in this subset was higher in SLE than in normal controls (14.7 +/- 2.6), although that in active SLE (43.6 +/- 7.3) tended to be lower than that in inactive SLE (48.0 +/- 6.8). CD95/Fas expression was also increased in both active and inactive SLE. In some SLE patients, AnV binding rate changed in inverse proportion to titer of the serum anti-DNA antibody and in proportion to serum complement activity. These data suggest that apoptosis in Th1 cells is important in the pathogenesis of SLE and might play a role in regulating over-activation or autoreactive responses by T cells.

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