Alterations in Macrophage Activation May Signal a Lupus Flare

Rheumatologists lack a definitive diagnostic tool to determine whether a patient has systemic lupus erythematous (SLE) and/or when a patient will experience a lupus flare. New data suggest myeloid cells in SLE patients skew B and T cell activation status toward the M1 state, thereby directing flares and remission. The genomic signatures of myeloid cells appear to correlate with and successfully predict SLE disease activity. Although altered myeloid cells gene expression is characteristic of both active and inactive SLE, disease activity was associated with a shift in myeloid cell activation toward the M1 proinflammatory phenotype. The research by Adam C. Labonte, PhD, staff scientist at AMPEL BioSolutions LLC, Charlottesville, Va., and colleagues was published in PLoS One.1

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