Lupus nephritis (LN) is a common and severe organ manifestation of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and is associated with significant patient morbidity and mortality. Autoantibodies and aberrations in lymphocyte subsets have putative roles in the pathogenesis of SLE and LN, and might reflect disease activity and are amenable to immunosuppressive treatments. Anti-DNA is one of the well-studied autoantibodies, which correlates with disease activity and has direct nephritogenic effects on resident renal cells and various glomerular components. Other important autoantibodies in the pathogenesis of LN include anti-C1q, anti-α-actinin and anti-nucleosome antibodies. Changes in naive and memory B cells and plasma cells have been observed in SLE and LN patients. These B cell subsets exert diverse effects during pathogenesis of LN such as production of autoantibodies, secretion of proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines and presentation of auto-antigens to effector cells. Aberration of T lymphocytes, especially the T-helper subsets, is also highly pertinent in the development of LN. In this context, important T helper subsets include Th1, Th2, Th9, Th17, TReg
and follicular T-helper cells. The growing knowledge on these autoantibodies and lymphocyte subset abnormalities will enhance our understanding of SLE and LN, and hence help devise better strategies for disease monitoring and treatment.
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