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Phenotypic and functional deficiencies of monocyte derived dendritic cells in systemic lupus erythematosus patients

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Systemic lupus erythematodes (SLE) represents an autoimmune disease for which alterations in T cells, B cells as well as various antigen-presenting cell (APC) populations have been described.


In order to better define APC-associated deficiencies we analyzed morphologic, phenotypic and functional characteristics of dendritic cells (DC) from SLE in patients as compared with healthy controls.


Monocyte derived DC (MoDC) were generated by culturing monocytes with GM-CSF+IL-4 for 8 days and with LPS for additional 2 days. MoDC were analyzed at different stages of maturation for morphologic, phenotypic and functional characteristics.

Results and Conclusion

Analysis of MoDC at different stages of maturation revealed substantial phenotypic and functional defects of MoDC from SLE as compared with healthy controls. In particular, we observed a significantly reduced upregulation of MHC class II molecules on MoDC upon activation, which correlated with disease activity scores and functional deficiencies in mixed lymphocyte reaction experiments. Our data imply a crucial role of APC in the immunologic imbalance in SLE for foreign- and self-antigen reactivity.

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  • Public Health
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Dendritic Cell
  • Crucial Role
  • Autoimmune Disease