The interplay of inflammation and cardiovascular disease in systemic lupus erythematosus
Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, 1150 W. Medical Center Drive, 5520 MSRBI, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5680, USA
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2011, 13:203 doi:10.1186/ar3264Published: 28 February 2011
Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus have up to a 50-fold increased risk of developing atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Recent advances in the etiology of vascular damage in this disease stress the interplay of lupus-specific inflammatory factors with traditional cardiac risk factors, leading to increased endothelial damage. This review analyzes the putative role that immune dysregulation and lupus-specific factors may play in the pathogenesis of premature vascular damage in this disease. The potential role of various cytokines, in particular type I interferons, in the development of accelerated atherosclerosis is examined. Potential therapeutic targets are discussed.