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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011, Article ID 273907, 13 pages
Review Article

Activation of Type I Interferon Pathway in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: Association with Distinct Clinical Phenotypes

1Department of Rheumatology, General Hospital of Athens “G.Gennimatas”, Mesogion St 154, 11527 Athens, Greece
2Department of Experimental Physiology, School of Medicine, University of Athens, M. Asias 75, 11527 Athens, Greece

Received 1 June 2011; Accepted 14 August 2011

Academic Editor: George Tsokos

Copyright © 2011 Theophanis P. Karageorgas 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.


Growing evidence over the last few years suggests a central role of type I IFN pathway in the pathogenesis of systemic autoimmune disorders. Data from clinical and genetic studies in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and lupus-prone mouse models, indicates that the type I interferon system may play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of several lupus and associated clinical features, such as nephritis, neuropsychiatric and cutaneous lupus, premature atherosclerosis as well as lupus-specific autoantibodies particularly against ribonucleoproteins. In the current paper, our aim is to summarize the latest findings supporting the association of type I IFN pathway with specific clinical manifestations in the setting of SLE providing insights on the potential use of type I IFN as a therapeutic target.