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Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease characterized by multiple organ inflammatory damage and wide spectrum of autoantibodies. The autoantibodies, especially anti-dsDNA and anti-Sm autoantibodies are highly specific to SLE, and participate in the immune complex formation and inflammatory damage on multiple end-organs such as kidney, skin, and central nervous system (CNS). However, the underlying mechanisms of autoantibody-induced tissue damage and systemic inflammation are still not fully understood. Single cell analysis of autoreactive B cells and monoclonal antibody screening from patients with active SLE has improved our understanding on the origin of autoreactive B cells and the antigen targets of the pathogenic autoantibodies. B cell depletion therapies have been widely studied in the clinics, but the development of more specific therapies against the pathogenic B cell subset and autoantibodies with improved efficacy and safety still remain a big challenge. A more comprehensive autoantibody profiling combined with functional characterization of autoantibodies in diseases development will shed new insights on the etiology and pathogenesis of SLE and guide a specific treatment to individual SLE patients.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of autoimmunity

Publication Date



Ludwig Institute of Cancer Research, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX3 7DR, UK; Chinese Academy for Medical Sciences Oxford Institute, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX3 7FZ, UK. Electronic address: