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Lupus Research Update: 2011 Volume 4

Lupus Research Update

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Volume 4, 2011 | IN THIS ISSUE

Understanding Lupus: Terminology and Processes

To help our readers gain fluency in the language of lupus research, here is a list of terms commonly used in descriptions of ALR studies.

  • The inflammatory process is part of the body’s immune system response. Activated by the presence of viruses and bacteria (foreign bodies), it fights infection and helps to heal wounds. Among the many facets of our work in lupus research, the ALR is looking to understand why B Cells and T-cells become overactive and what causes the body to fail to differentiate between foreign bodies and healthy tissue.
  • B cells and T cells are involved in the immune system’s response to infection. Both B cells and T cells belong to a family of immune cells called lymphocytes, which fight infection.
  • When a T cell recognizes an antigen (a foreign body) it will produce chemicals known as cytokines that cause B cells to multiply and release many immune proteins called antibodies. Circulating widely in the bloodstream, antibodies recognize foreign particles and trigger
  • Feeling unwell for more than 24 hours after physical activity
  • Muscle pain
  • Memory problems
  • Headaches
  • Pain in multiple joints
  • Sleep problems
  • Sore throat
  • Tender lymph nodes
  • Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine

to help the body rid itself of the virus or bacteria.
  • Interferons play a critical role in regulating the release of antibodies by B cells. Approximately, 10 interferons have been identified in mammals.

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