Autoimmune mechanisms in children with systemic lupus erythematosus.
Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic
Although the pathogenesis of SLE remains poorly understood, there is consensus that it involves a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors. New technologies applied to genomic and gene expression studies have revealed novel gene mutations and cytokine alterations in this disease. Recently, advances in monoclonal antibodies and recombinant DNA technology have resulted in the development of new drugs to arrest disease progression and restore physiologic immune responses without major side effects. Clinical trials to test several of these novel therapies are currently underway.