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Editorial

Shining light on lupus and UV

Melanie K Kuechle1 and Keith B Elkon2*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Dermatology, University of Washington School of Medicine, NE Pacific Street, Seattle, WA 98195, USA

2 Division of Rheumatology, University of Washington School of Medicine, NE Pacific Street, Seattle, WA 98195, USA

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2007, 9:101  doi:10.1186/ar2100


See related research article by Reefman et al., http://arthritis-research.com/content/8/6/R156

Published: 18 January 2007

Abstract

People exposed to sunlight can develop erythema, DNA damage, and photoimmunosupression. Extended exposure of normal epidermis to sunlight will induce dysmorphic keratinocytes with pyknotic nuclei scattered throughout the spinous layer. These 'sunburn cells' are apoptotic keratinocytes and are usually cleared within 48 hours after sunburn. Patients with lupus erythematosus, however, whether it be the discoid, subacute cutaneous, systemic, or tumid form, develop new cutaneous lesions and can experience systemic worsening of their disease. Are sunlight-induced keratinocyte apoptosis and the immune response to these cells abnormal in lupus patients?