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Int Rev Immunol. 2004 May-Aug;23(3-4):293-313.

Mitochondrial dysfunction in T cells of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.

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Department of Medicine, State University of New York, Upstate Medical University, College of Medicine, Syracuse, New York 13210, USA.


Activation, proliferation, or programmed cell death of T lymphocytes are dependent on controlled reactive oxygen intermediates (ROI) production and ATP synthesis in mitochondria. The mitochondrial transmembrane potential (Delta Psi(m)) also plays a decisive role in cell survival by controlling activity of redox-sensitive caspases. T lymphocytes of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) exhibit mitochondrial hyperpolarization, increased ROI production, diminished intracellular glutathione levels, cytoplasmic alkalinization, and ATP depletion that mediate enhanced spontaneous and diminished activation-induced apoptosis and sensitize lupus T cells to necrosis. These redox and metabolic checkpoints represent novel targets for pharmacological intervention in SLE.

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