We formulate a two-phase paradigm of autoimmunity associated with systemic lupus erythematosus, the archetypal autoimmune disease. The initial Toll-like receptor (TLR)-independent phase is mediated by dendritic cell uptake of apoptotic cell debris and associated nucleic acids, whereas the subsequent TLR-dependent phase serves an amplification function and is mediated by uptake of TLR ligands derived from self-antigens (principally nucleic acids) complexed with autoantibodies. Both phases depend on elaboration of type I interferons (IFNs), and therapeutic interruption of induction or activity of these cytokines in predisposed individuals might have a substantial mitigating effect in lupus and other autoimmune diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)