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Arthritis Res Ther. 2010;12(2):207. doi: 10.1186/ar2966. Epub 2010 Apr 26.

The role of dendritic cells in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus.

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  • 1Nephrology Research Laboratory, Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences, Department of Nephrology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


The etiology of the autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus is not known, but aberrant apoptosis and/or insufficient clearance of apoptotic material have been assigned a pivotal role. During apoptosis, nucleosomes and several endogenous danger-associated molecular patterns are incorporated in blebs. Recent data indicate that apoptotic blebs induce maturation of myeloid dendritic cells, resulting in IL-17 production by T cells. In this review we summarize current knowledge on the role of dendritic cells in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus with special emphasis on the uptake of apoptotic blebs by dendritic cells, and the subsequent induction of Th17 cells.

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