Rosalie M. Sterner, Stella P. Hartono and Joseph P. Grande
Lupus nephritis is a serious potential feature of systemic lupus erythematous (SLE). Though SLE typically cycles through periods of flares and remission, patients often eventually succumb to end-stage kidney or cardiovascular damage. This review of the pathogenesis of lupus nephritis examines the role of the complement cascade; the significance of autoantibodies, the breaking of tolerance, and the implications of altered apoptosis in breaking tolerance; and the contributions of adaptive immunity and cross-talk with the innate immune system in driving renal damage. Delineation of basic mechanisms underlying the development of acute and chronic renal damage in lupus nephritis can result in the continued development of more specific and effective treatments.