The association between systemic lupus erythematosus and deficiencies of the complement system.

Siegfried Goerg*

*Corresponding author for this work
4 Citations (Scopus)


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), an autoimmune disease characterized by chronic nephritis, arthritis or dermatitis and the presence of antinuclear autoantibodies is associated with deficiencies of complement factors of the classical activation pathway. Results accumulated over the past few years with the use of complement gene deficient mice made it possible to update the conventional hypothesis for this association in regard to the etiology of the disease, whereby the early events leading to induction of autoimmunity can be explained by various functions of complement. As a conclusion, a new model for the etiology of the SLE based on the reduced elimination of apoptotic cells, the increased uptake of IgM containing immune complexes into the spleen and the CD21/CD35 dependent B cell toleration in the periphery demonstrates the importance of complement in the prevention of autoimmunity whereas the inflammatory reactions occurring in later stages of the disease are relatively independent from complement. The results obtained with complement deficient mice contribute to a better understanding of tolerance-inducing mechanisms and offers the option to develop new therapeutic procedures for autoimmune diseases.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCellular and molecular biology (Noisy-le-Grand, France)
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)237-245
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 01.05.2002


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