From T to B and back again: positive feedback in systemic autoimmune disease

Nat Rev Immunol. 2001 Nov;1(2):147-53. doi: 10.1038/35100573.


Systemic lupus erythematosus, a prototypical systemic autoimmune disease, is the result of a series of interactions within the immune system that ultimately lead to the loss of self-tolerance to nuclear autoantigens. Here, we present an integrated model that explains how self-tolerance is initially lost and how the loss of tolerance is then amplified and maintained as a chronic autoimmune state. Key to this model are the self-reinforcing interactions of T and B cells, which we suggest lead to perpetuation of autoimmunity as well as its spread to multiple autoantigen targets.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoantigens
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Biological Evolution
  • Cell Communication
  • Feedback
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology
  • Mice
  • Models, Immunological
  • Self Tolerance
  • Signal Transduction
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Autoantigens