T cells as a therapeutic target in SLE

Lupus. 2015 Apr;24(4-5):351-63. doi: 10.1177/0961203314556139.


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a multisystem autoimmune disease characterized by a loss of tolerance to multiple endogenous antigens. SLE etiology remains largely unknown, despite recent insight into the immunopathogenesis of the disease. T cells are important in the development of the disease by amplifying the immune response and contributing to organ damage. Aberrant signaling, cytokine secretion, and tissue homing displayed by SLE T cells have been extensively studied and the underlying pathogenic molecular mechanisms are starting to be elucidated. T-cell-targeted treatments are being explored in SLE patients. This review is an update on the T-cell abnormalities and related therapeutic options in SLE.

Keywords: Systemic lupus erythematosus; T cells; epigenetics; interleukin-2 (IL-2); treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Costimulatory and Inhibitory T-Cell Receptors / immunology
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Interleukin-2 / immunology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / therapy*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Costimulatory and Inhibitory T-Cell Receptors
  • Interleukin-2