Research ArticleSystemic Lupus Erythematosus

Platelets release mitochondrial antigens in systemic lupus erythematosus

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Science Translational Medicine  17 Feb 2021:
Vol. 13, Issue 581, eaav5928
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aav5928

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An unexpected source of antigens

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease that can affect multiple organs. Antibodies against DNA have been found in the blood of patients with SLE; however, the sources of autoantigens have not been completely elucidated. Here, Melki et al. described the capacity of platelets to extrude mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) through the stimulation of FcγRIIA. In lupus-prone transgenic mice, triggering FcγRIIA by immune complexes leads to platelets activation and release of mtDNA, which further accelerates and aggravates the lupus phenotype, providing a rationale for the role of mtDNA in SLE.

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