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The Role of Apoptosis Proteins and Complement Components in the Etiopathogenesis of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Authors
Journal
Clinics
1807-5932
Publisher
Fundacao Faculdade de Medicina
Publication Date
Volume
65
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1590/s1807-59322010000300014
Keywords
  • Review
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Medicine

Abstract

Systemic lupus erythematosus is a prototypical autoimmune disease characterized by the deregulation of T and B cells, tissue infiltration by mononuclear cells, tissue damage and the production of autoantibodies. There is a consensus that accelerated apoptosis of circulating lymphocytes and/or impaired clearance of apoptotic bodies may increase the amount of nuclear antigens presented to T lymphocytes. This process is accompanied by autoimmune responses that can lead to the development of lupus. The dysfunction of apoptosis may be a direct consequence of alterations in proteins/genes such as Fas, Bcl-2 and C1q. Increased expression of Fas antigen could intensify the exposure of hidden antigens. The overexpression of Bcl-2 protein might inhibit the removal of auto-reactive cells, and the lack of C1q could impair the clearance of self-antigens. The complete knowledge of the role of apoptosis components in the etiopathogenesis of lupus could lead to the development of new therapies targeting the apoptotic threshold, which could result in a more specific and effective disease response compared to global immunosuppression. This review summarizes the role of each component of the apoptotic process in the pathogenesis of lupus.

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