Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE; lupus) is a autoimmune disease that mainly affects women of child bearing age. Lupus is characterized by antibodies produced against an individual’s own proteins which are most commonly nuclear antigens. One of the proposed initiating factors include free radical-mediated oxidative stress, which play significant role in the pathogenesis of SLE. Previous studies reported evidence of elevated oxidative stress in the patients with lupus, although results between studies have been inconsistent. Several studies in lupus patients have indicated an imbalance between oxidant and anti-oxidant biomarkers. For example, the balance between the level of the oxidant, malondialdehyde and the antioxidant, superoxide dismutase, were skewed in SLE patients towards oxidant. In addition, excessive free radical levels may also be responsible for development of lupus and free radical-mediated oxidative stress including inflammatory cytokines may also play important roles in its pathogenesis. Further, oxidative stress was reported to be elevated in patients with SLE and also be related to its symptoms. Therefore, it is crucial to first understand, whether or not the parameters of oxidative stress are involved in SLE and second, what is the relationship between oxidant status, and antioxidants parameters in SLE patients. In this review we will systematically examine the relationship between oxidative stress as well as antioxidative parameters and there association to the pathogenesis and progression of SLE.
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