Lupus nephritis (LN) occurs in more than one-third of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. Its pathogenesis is mostly attributable to the glomerular deposition of immune complexes and overproduction of T helper- (Th-) 1 cytokines. In this context, the high glomerular expression of IL-12 and IL-18 exerts a major pathogenetic role. These cytokines are locally produced by both macrophages and dendritic cells (DCs) which attract other inflammatory cells leading to maintenance of the kidney inflammation. However, other populations including T-cells and B-cells are integral for the development and worsening of renal damage. T-cells include many pathogenetic subsets, and the activation of Th-17 in keeping with defective T-regulatory (Treg) cell function regards as further event contributing to the glomerular damage. These populations also activate B-cells to produce nephritogenic auto-antibodies. Thus, LN includes a complex pathogenetic mechanism that involves different players and the evaluation of their activity may provide an effective tool for monitoring the onset of the disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis