Nephritis occurs commonly in lupus patients, and many immunological and nonimmunological factors contribute to disease expression. It is generally appreciated that glomerular immune deposit formation is an early and initiating event, although the mechanisms leading to the deposition of nephritogenic antibodies continue to be debated. Furthermore, it has recently become evident that autoantibodies expressed on B cells also play an important role in pathogenesis. This review focuses on the properties of nephritogenic autoantibodies, their mechanisms of immune deposit formation, and the contribution of B cells expressing autoantibodies to lupus nephritis.
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