Induction of dendritic cell differentiation by IFN-α in systemic lupus erythematosus Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Dendritic Cells
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic
  • Monocytes


  • Dendritic cells (DCs) are important in regulating both immunity and tolerance. Hence, we hypothesized that systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), an autoimmune disease characterized by autoreactive B and T cells, may be caused by alterations in the functions of DCs. Consistent with this, monocytes from SLE patients' blood were found to function as antigen-presenting cells, in vitro. Furthermore, serum from SLE patients induced normal monocytes to differentiate into DCs. These DCs could capture antigens from dying cells and present them to CD4-positive T cells. The capacity of SLE patients' serum to induce DC differentiation correlated with disease activity and depended on the actions of interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha). Thus, unabated induction of DCs by IFN-alpha may drive the autoimmune response in SLE.

publication date

  • November 16, 2001



  • Academic Article



  • eng

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/science.1064890

PubMed ID

  • 11711679

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 1540

end page

  • 3


  • 294


  • 5546