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Review

The role of dendritic cells in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus

Justin H Fransen1, Johan van der Vlag1, Jurjen Ruben1, Gosse J Adema2, Jo H Berden1 and Luuk B Hilbrands1*

Author Affiliations

1 Nephrology Research Laboratory, Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences, Department of Nephrology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands

2 Department of Tumor Immunology, Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2010, 12:207  doi:10.1186/ar2966

Published: 26 April 2010

Abstract

The etiology of the autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus is not known, but aberrant apoptosis and/or insufficient clearance of apoptotic material have been assigned a pivotal role. During apoptosis, nucleosomes and several endogenous danger-associated molecular patterns are incorporated in blebs. Recent data indicate that apoptotic blebs induce maturation of myeloid dendritic cells, resulting in IL-17 production by T cells. In this review we summarize current knowledge on the role of dendritic cells in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus with special emphasis on the uptake of apoptotic blebs by dendritic cells, and the subsequent induction of Th17 cells.