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Digging Into the Roots of Lupus

White blood cells called neutrophils implicated in the autoimmune disease

Science News—March 9, 2011

Short-lived but populous immune cells called neutrophils and the cellular flotsam they sometimes release might play an important role in lupus. Neutrophils from lupus patients give rise to microscopic nets, made of unwound DNA and proteins, that may trigger the inflammation characteristic of this autoimmune disease, according to two laboratory studies released online March 9 in Science Translational Medicine.

The new work offers “a nice addition to our understanding of the different cellular players that contribute to the immune dysfunction, autoimmunity and inflammation of lupus,” says Mary Crow, a rheumatologist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, who was not involved in the new studies.

This story originally appeared at sciencenews.org.


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