A number of monoclonal antibodies (mAb) are now under investigation in clinical trials to assess their potential role in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). The most frequently used mAb is rituximab, which is directed against CD20, a membrane protein expressed on B lymphocytes. Uncontrolled trials reported an improvement of SLE activity in non-renal patients and other studies even reported an improvement of severe lupus nephritis unresponsive to conventional treatments. However two randomized trials failed to show the superiority of rituximab over conventional treatment in non renal SLE and in lupus nephritis. Preliminary trials reported promising results with epratuzumab, a humanized mAb directed against CD22, and with belimumab, a human mAb that specifically recognizes and inhibits the biological activity of BLyS a cytokine of the tumornecrosis-factor (TNF) ligand superfamily. Other clinical trials with mAb directed against TNF-alpha, interleukin-10 (Il-10), Il-6, CD154, CD40 ligand, IL-18 or complement component C5 are under way. At present, however, in spite of good results reported by some studies, no firm conclusion on the risk-benefit profile of these mAbs in patients with SLE can be drawn from the available studies.