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Immunity. 2004 May;20(5):539-50.

Autoimmunity through cytokine-induced dendritic cell activation.

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Baylor Institute for Immunology Research, 3434 Live Oak, Dallas, TX 75204 USA.


We propose a model where autoimmunity can be viewed as a dynamic system driven by opposite vectors IFN-alpha/beta and TNF. These cytokines drive differentiation of distinct types of DCs, TNF-DCs, or IFN-DCs, which present different antigens leading to distinct autoimmune responses. When balanced, both cytokines synergize in protective immunity. When one of the cytokines prevails, autoimmunity occurs, Type I interferons (IFN-alpha/beta) playing a major role in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and TNF playing a major role in rheumatoid arthritis. This model complements the Type 1/Type 2 paradigm. Therefore, immunity can be viewed as a dynamic system driven by two sets of opposite vectors: IFN-alpha/beta/TNF and IFN-gamma/IL-4.

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