SLE is an autoimmune condition characterized by loss of tolerance to chromatin constituents and the production of ANAs. The majority of SLE patients display spontaneous expression of type I IFN-induced genes in circulating mononuclear cells and peripheral tissues, and type I IFNs play a role in the pathogenesis of the disease via the sustained activation of autoreactive T and B cells necessary for the production of pathogenic autoantibodies. Several IFN-blocking strategies are currently being evaluated in clinical trials: monoclonal antibodies directed against IFN-α and type I IFN-α receptor (IFNAR), as well as active immunization against IFN-α. This review describes the rationale behind these trials and the results obtained, and discusses the perspectives for further development of these drugs.
Keywords: interferon blockade; interferon-alpha; interferon-alpha kinoid; rontalizumab; sifalimumab; systemic lupus erythematosus; type I interferon.
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