Systemic lupus erythematosus is an incurable autoimmune disease characterized by autoantibodies directed against highly conserved nuclear proteins and DNA. While the cause of lupus is not known, B-lymphocytes are essential for disease. Most striking is that deficiency in components of the innate immune system such as complement is a major risk factor in disease. One explanation for the involvement of complement and innate immunity is that they are important in the induction and maintenance of B cell tolerance to lupus antigens.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.