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Highly Accessed Open Badges Review

Cytokine disturbances in systemic lupus erythematosus

Noam Jacob and William Stohl*

Author Affiliations

Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, 2011 Zonal Ave, HMR 711, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2011, 13:228  doi:10.1186/ar3349

Published: 6 July 2011


The pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is complex, and the resulting disease manifestations are heterogeneous. Cytokine dysregulation is pervasive, and their protein and gene expression profiles may serve as markers of disease activity and severity. Importantly, biologic agents that target specific cytokines may represent novel therapies for SLE. Four cytokines (IL-6, TNFα, IFNα, and BLyS) are being evaluated as therapeutic targets in SLE. The present review will examine the roles of each of these cytokines in murine and human SLE, and will summarize results from clinical trials of agents that target these cytokines.