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Semin Immunol. 2011 Apr;23(2):113-21. doi: 10.1016/j.smim.2011.01.009. Epub 2011 Feb 2.

The type I interferon system in the development of lupus.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Sciences, Section of Rheumatology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. Lars.Ronnblom@medsci.uu.se

Abstract

The type I interferon (IFN) system induces inhibition of viral replication, but can also activate the innate and adaptive immune system. An important role of the type I IFN system in autoimmune diseases, including lupus, is suggested by the observation that these disorders display a prominent over-expression of type I IFN regulated genes. The development of autoimmune diseases in some individuals treated with IFN-α directly supports a pivotal role for this cytokine in breaking tolerance and inducing autoimmune reactions. A genetic setup that promotes type I IFN production and/or response and the presence of endogenous inducers of IFN-α production have been described in patients with lupus. Several known environmental risk factors for development of lupus or disease flares may contribute to the ongoing type I IFN production. In the present review we will describe the possible role of the type I IFN system in the lupus disease process. The possible connection between the type I IFN system and some environmental and genetic risk factors for lupus is also discussed.

PMID:
21292501
DOI:
10.1016/j.smim.2011.01.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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