What is the etiology of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)?

Updated: Aug 04, 2021
  • Author: Christie M Bartels, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Although the specific cause of SLE is unknown, multiple genetic predispositions and gene-environment interactions have been identified (see the chart in the image below). This complex situation perhaps explains the variable clinical manifestations in persons with SLE.

In systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), many geneti In systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), many genetic-susceptibility factors, environmental triggers, antigen-antibody (Ab) responses, B-cell and T-cell interactions, and immune clearance processes interact to generate and perpetuate autoimmunity. HLA = human leukocyte antigen; UV = ultraviolet light.

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