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Highly Accessed Review

Disturbances of apoptotic cell clearance in systemic lupus erythematosus

Wen-Hai Shao and Philip L Cohen*

Author affiliations

Section of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Temple University, 3322 North Broad Street, Room 205, Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA

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Citation and License

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2011, 13:202  doi:10.1186/ar3206

Published: 28 February 2011

Abstract

Systemic lupus erythematosus is a multifactorial autoimmune disease with an as yet unknown etiopathogenesis. It is widely thought that self-immunization in systemic lupus is driven by defective clearance of dead and dying cells. In lupus patients, large numbers of apoptotic cells accumulate in various tissues including germinal centers. In the present review, we discuss the danger signals released by apoptotic cells, their triggering of inflammatory responses, and the breakdown of B-cell tolerance. We also review the pathogenic role of apoptotic cell clearance in systemic lupus erythematosus.