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Immunol Res. 2001;24(2):131-47.

Lupus autoantigens: their origins, forms, and presentation.

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


The immune system has developed a number of mechanisms by which to distinguish self from foreign proteins. These mechanisms are found throughout the ontogeny of B and T cell development and include the deletion of autoreactive cells in central lymphoid organs and the induction of self-tolerance in the periphery. However, any failure of these mechanisms for self-tolerance may result in autoimmune disease. Efforts in our laboratory have been directed at understanding how autoimmunity is initiated and maintained in both the B and T cell compartment, with particular interest in the autoimmunity of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). This review will focus on our studies on the forms of self-antigens that may be involved in the original "antigenic sin" of SLE and in the role of B lymphocytes as autoantigen presenting cells. We will also discuss whether costimulation is a formal requirement for the induction and maintenance of autoimmunity. Finally, we have provided a model for how all of these individual elements may contribute to the autoimmune processes leading to pathology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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