Pathogenic mechanisms of systemic lupus. Different subpopulations of immune cells interplay to directly or indirectly regulate other subpopulations by releasing different cytokines and other mediators of inflammation, thereby contributing to the progression of the systemic disease. The hyperactivated leukocytes as well as the pathogenic autoantibodies and immune complexes resulting from the systemic disease ultimately play an important role in local autoimmunity and end organ disease within target organs like the kidneys. Ab, antibody; BAFF, B-cell activation factor; DC, dendritic cell; IC, immune complex; IFN-I, interferon-I; IL-10, interleukin-10; MΦ, macrophage; MHC, major histocompatibility complex; self-Ag, self-antigen; TCR, T-cell receptor; TGF-β, transforming growth factor-beta.
Pathak and Mohan Arthritis Research & Therapy 2011 13:241 doi:10.1186/ar3465