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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 594809, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/594809
Review Article

The Role of Cytokine in the Lupus Nephritis

1Department of Disease Control and Homeostasis, School of Medicine, College of Medical, Pharmaceutical and Health Sciences, Kanazawa University, 13-1 Takara-machi, Kanazawa 920-8641, Japan
2Division of Blood Purification, Kanazawa University Hospital, Kanazawa, Japan
3Department of Laboratory Sciences, School of Medicine, College of Medical, Pharmaceutical and Health Sciences, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Japan

Received 26 May 2011; Accepted 12 August 2011

Academic Editor: Brian Poole

Copyright © 2011 Yasunori Iwata et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Lupus nephritis (LN) is a major clinical manifestation of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Although numerous abnormalities of immune system have been proposed, cytokine overexpression plays an essential role in the pathogenesis of LN. In the initial phase of the disease, the immune deposits and/or autoantibodies induce cytokine production in renal resident cells, leading to further inflammatory cytokine/chemokine expression and leukocyte infiltration and activation. Then, infiltrate leukocytes, such as macrophages (Mφ) and dendritic cells (DCs), secrete a variety of cytokines and activate naïve T cells, leading the cytokine profile towards T helper (Th)1, Th2, and/or Th17. Recent studies revealed these inflammatory processes in experimental animal models as well as human LN. The cytokine targeted intervention may have the therapeutic potentials for LN. This paper focuses on the expression of cytokine and its functional role in the pathogenesis of LN.