Blood dendritic cells and DC-poietins in systemic lupus erythematosus

Michelle A. Gill, Patrick Blanco, Edsel Arce, Virginia Pascual, Jacques Banchereau, A. Karolina Palucka

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96 Scopus citations


Dendritic cells (DCs) control immunity and tolerance. Hence, we surmised that systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a systemic autoimmune disease with autoreactive T and B cells, might be due to alterations in DC homeostasis. Taken together, our results demonstrate profound alterations of DCs and DC-poietins homeostasis in SLE. Elevated levels of interferon-α (IFN) in serum of SLE patients coexist with decreased numbers of cells producing IFN-α, i.e., plasmacytoid dendritic cells (PDCs). Decreased numbers of circulating DCs correlate with increased levels of soluble tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptors, thus suggesting the potential role of TNF pathway in the observed DC alterations. Finally, increased FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3-ligand (FLT3-L) and its correlation with soluble TNF receptors suggest a physiologic response to compensate low DC numbers. Although IFN-α remains at the center of immunologic aberrations in SLE, it remains to be determined whether increased shedding of soluble TNF receptors could also be ascribed to IFN-α.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1172-1180
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Immunology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002


  • Autoimmunity
  • Dendritic cells
  • Interferon alpha
  • Lupus
  • Tumor necrosis factor


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