Essay Systematic Lupus Erythematosus

Essay Systematic Lupus Erythematosus

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Systematic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a very serious and mysterious disease affecting the immune system. The immune system is designed to protect against foreign substances such as viruses, bacteria, and germs that have infiltrated the body. The immune system has an innate component and an adaptive ability that allows it to produce cells specially designed to destroy foreign or “non-self” substances. The adaptive immune system has two main cells, B cells and T cells. There are different types of T cells, cytotoxic, helper, regulatory, and natural killer T cells. Normally the B cells produce antibodies that protect the body from invaders. The antibodies recognize a protein on a foreign target and bind to them, either marking an infected cell for attack by other parts of the immune system, or it can neutralize the target directly. Usually antibodies are quite good at differentiating between cells that are foreign or self.
Lupus causes the body to produce antibodies that attack the self or autoantibodies. The exact reason this happens is still not known. One possible cause is over-exposure to UV light, especially UVB. UV light induces the apoptosis of human keratinocytes, leading to the formation of clusters which contain both nuclear and cytoplasmic antigens on the surface of dying cells, providing a mechanism for the exposure of self antigens to the immune system and provoke autoimmunity(Mok, Lau 2003). The autoantibodies attack all kinds of cells and other self-components such as phospholipids and coagulation proteins (McCance 2010). The autoantibodies most commonly attack nucleic acids, histones, ribonucleoproteins, and other nuclear material (McCance 2010). T cell function is altered towards B cell help causing enhanced ...

... middle of paper ... Foundation of America. (n.d.). Retrieved from
McCance, K. L., & Huether, S. E. (2010). Pathophysiology: The biologic basis for disease in adults and children. Maryland Heights, Mo: Mosby Elsevier.
Mok, , C. C., & Lau , C. S. (2003). Pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus. Journal of Clinical Pathology, (56), 481–490.
Mosca , M., Ruiz-Irastorza, G., Khamashta, M. A., & Hughes, G. R. (2001). Treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus. International Immunopharmacology, 1(6), 1065–1075.
University of Florida: Details. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Wallace, D. J. (1995). The lupus book. New York: Oxford University Press.
What is the Lupus "butterfly" rash? (n.d.). Retrieved from

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