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Open Badges Review

Chromatin as a target antigen in human and murine lupus nephritis

Annica Hedberg, Elin S Mortensen and Ole P Rekvig*

Author Affiliations

Molecular Pathology Research Group, Institute of Medical Biology, Faculty of Health Science, University of Tromsø, N-9037 Tromsø, Norway

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2011, 13:214  doi:10.1186/ar3281

Published: 18 April 2011


The present review focuses on pathogenic molecular and transcriptional events in patients with lupus nephritis. These factors are renal DNaseI, exposed chromatin fragments and the corresponding chromatin-reactive autoantibodies. Lupus nephritis is the most serious complication in human systemic lupus erythematosus, and is characterised by deposition of chromatin fragment-IgG complexes in the mesangial matrix and glomerular basement membranes. The latter deposition defines end-stage disease. This event is stringently linked to a renal-restricted shutdown of expression of the DNaseI gene, as determined by loss of DNaseI mRNA level and DNaseI enzyme activity. The major aim of the present review is to generate new therapeutic strategies based on new insight into the disease pathogenesis.