Lupus erythematosus

Also Known As: Lupus erythematosus, SLE, Systemic lupus erythematosus, Lupus

Lupus erythematosus is a category for a collection of diseases with similar underlying problems with immunity (autoimmune disease). Symptoms of these diseases can affect many different body systems, including joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, heart, and lungs. Four main types of lupus exist — systemic lupus erythematosus, discoid lupus erythematosus, drug-induced lupus erythematosus, and neonatal lupus erythematosus. Of these, systemic lupus erythematosus is the most common and serious form of lupus.

Photosensitivity's relationship to and influence on the systemic manifestations of lupus remain to be defined. Mechanisms for photosensitivity might include: modulation of autoantibody location, cytotoxic effects, apoptosis induction with autoantigens in apoptotic blebs, upregulation of adhesion molecules and cytokines, induction of nitric oxide synthase expression and ultraviolet-generated antigenic DNA. Tumor necrosis factor alpha also seems to play a role in the development of photosensitivity.

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