T cells in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus

Clin Immunol. 2004 Oct;113(1):4-13. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2004.05.001.


Recent studies in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have demonstrated that autoantigen-reactive T cells can be isolated from peripheral blood and that such cells can support autoantibody production ex vivo, suggesting that they may have a central role in the pathogenesis of disease. In addition, recent work has identified and characterized signaling abnormalities in T cells from SLE that may be fundamental to the disease. This review will examine the role of T cells in the pathogenesis of SLE and it will consider pathogenic mechanisms by which T cells escape normal of immunological tolerance. The focus will be on recent studies characterizing autoantigen-reactive human T cells and signaling abnormalities identified in T cells from patients with SLE.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antigen Presentation / immunology
  • Autoantigens / immunology
  • Autoimmunity / immunology
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / etiology*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / pathology
  • Signal Transduction / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / pathology


  • Autoantigens