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Lupus. 2002;11(12):850-5.

Tumour necrosis factor alpha in systemic lupus erythematosus and anti-DNA autoantibody production.

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Department of Immunology and Molecular Pathology, Royal Free and University College London, The Windeyer Institute, London, UK.


Tumour necrosis factor (TNFalpha) is a cytokine with a wide range of diverse and at times paradoxical effects. These include immunoregulatory, lymphoid organogenesis and pro-inflammatory effects. In recent years, TNFalpha has become a focus of interest more for its inflammatory effects in a number of chronic autoimmune diseases. This interest culminated in the successful treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's diseases and ankylosing spondylitis with blocking antibodies or soluble TNFalpha receptors. Paradoxically, however, TNFalpha also has immunomodulatory effects in some autoimmune conditions such as lupus in some mouse models of the disease and in diabetes in the none-obese diabetic mouse. The role TNFalpha plays in human systemic lupus erythematosus is, however, controversial. In this article we review some of the studies carried out to elucidate the effects of TNFalpha in lupus disease and likely mechanisms of action. Further, we discuss recent data on the likely effects of blocking TNFalpha on anti-DNA autoantibody production.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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