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Arthritis Res Ther. 2011 Feb 28;13(1):202. doi: 10.1186/ar3206.

Disturbances of apoptotic cell clearance in systemic lupus erythematosus.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA.


Systemic lupus erythematosus is a multifactorial autoimmune disease with an as yet unknown etiopathogenesis. It is widely thought that self-immunization in systemic lupus is driven by defective clearance of dead and dying cells. In lupus patients, large numbers of apoptotic cells accumulate in various tissues including germinal centers. In the present review, we discuss the danger signals released by apoptotic cells, their triggering of inflammatory responses, and the breakdown of B-cell tolerance. We also review the pathogenic role of apoptotic cell clearance in systemic lupus erythematosus.

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