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Devarapu, S. K.; Lorenz, G.; Kulkarni, O. P.; Anders, H.-J.; Mulay, S. R. (2017): Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Autoimmunity and Lupus Nephritis. In: International Review of Cell and Molecular Biology, Vol 332, Vol. 332: pp. 43-154
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Autoimmunity involves immune responses directed against self, which are a result of defective self/foreign distinction of the immune system, leading to proliferation of self-reactive lymphocytes, and is characterized by systemic, as well as tissue-specific, inflammation. Numerous mechanisms operate to ensure the immune tolerance to self-antigens. However, monogenetic defects or genetic variants that weaken immune tolerance render susceptibility to the loss of immune tolerance, which is further triggered by environmental factors. In this review, we discuss the phenomenon of immune tolerance, genetic and environmental factors that influence the immune tolerance, factors that induce autoimmunity such as epigenetic and transcription factors, neutrophil extracellular trap formation, extracellular vesicles, ion channels, and lipid mediators, as well as costimulatory or coinhibitory molecules that contribute to an autoimmune response. Further, we discuss the cellular and molecular mechanisms of autoimmune tissue injury and inflammation during systemic lupus erythematosus and lupus nephritis.