A key finding in the origins of lupus has been discovered. In those with systemic lupus erythematosus, B cells are abnormally activated. This results in the production of antibodies which react against the patient's own tissue, causing a range of symptoms including rashes, joint pain, and fatigue.
Skin cells may hold the key to explaining why women are more prone to developing autoimmune diseases, such as lupus than men. Researchers found women have more VGLL3 in their skin cells than men. VGLL3 pushes the immune system into overdrive, resulting in the 'self-attacking' autoimmune response, the mouse study revealed. Findings strongly implicate VGLL3 as a pivotal catalyst in sex-based autoimmunity.
A study in Nature Immunology reports on the mechanism that helps to prevent autoimmune diseases from developing following infection. Researchers report a population of immune cells develop during late stages of the immune response to influenza infection.