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Immunol Res. 1999;19(2-3):245-57.

Autoreactive T cells in murine lupus: origins and roles in autoantibody production.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520-8031, USA.


The conventional paradigm to explain systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is that disease results from tissue deposition of pathogenic autoantibodies and immune complexes, secondary to activation of autoreactive B cells in the context of help from alphabeta T cells. Recent work in murine lupus has confirmed this notion and demonstrated that autoantigen-specific alphabeta T cells are absolutely required for full penetrance of disease, with such autoreactive alphabeta T cells, even in Fas-intact mice, likely arising from defects in peripheral tolerance. These studies have also revealed a network of regulation that also involves nonclassical pathogenic and downregulatory alphabeta and gammadelta T cells, suggesting that the lupus immune system involves more complex interactions than the conventional paradigm suggests.

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