Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disorder with a wide range of clinical symptoms. Enormous progress has been made in the immunological and genetic understanding of SLE. However, the biology of disease heterogeneity in SLE has remained largely unexplored. Human immune profiling studies, helped by recent technological advances especially in single-cell and "omics" analyses, are now shedding light on the cellular and molecular basis of clinical symptoms and disease flares in individual patients. Peripheral blood immunophenotyping analysis with flow cytometry or mass cytometry are identifying responsible cell subsets and markers characteristic of disease heterogeneity. Transcriptome analysis is discovering molecular networks responsible for disease activity, disease subtype and future relapse. In this review, we summarize recent advances in the immune profiling analysis of SLE patients and discuss how they will be used for future precision medicine.
Keywords: immune profiling; precision medicine; single-cell analysis; systemic lupus erythematosus; transcriptome.