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Immunol Rev. 1996 Aug;152:145-56.

Retroviruses and systemic lupus erythematosus.

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Department of Medicine III, Friedrich-Alexander University, Erlangen-N├╝rnberg, Germany.


In some animal models of autoimmune diseases the roles of exogenous and endogenous retroviruses are clearly defined. In ungulates caprine arthritis encephalitis virus, equine infectious anemia virus or Maedi-Visna virus infections cause a well-defined autoimmune disease and the appearance of seropositivity of the animals is of diagnostic value. Likewise, in MRL lpr/lpr mice insertion of a retrotransposon into the fas gene could clearly be shown to cause survival of autoreactive lymphocytes. Despite intensive research in this field over a long period of time, molecular data on retroviral involvement in either etiology or pathology of human SLE and other autoimmune rheumatic diseases remain rather scarce. However, the analysis of retroviral antibodies and antigens in human autoimmune disease is undoubtedly important with regard to the search for retroviruses as disease-causing agents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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