Cytokines in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: Their Role in Pathogenesis of Disease and Possible Therapeutic Opportunities

Abstract: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease that may involve several organs. The disease is characterized by a recurring pattern of remission and flare. Immunologic factors seem to have important roles in the pathogenesis of SLE. Several studies revealed that cytokines are important in pathogenesis of this disorder. These cytokines include B-cell activating factor (BAFF), tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interferon (IFN), interleukin (IL)-23, IL-17, IL-10, IL-6 and IL-21. In this article, the role of cytokines and their encoding genes are described and therapeutic applications have been discussed briefly. Keywords: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, SLE, Pathogenesis, Immunologic Factors, Cytokines