Causes of Lupus

Author: Shelley Ensz. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer
Coronin-1A Gene
Environmental Exposures
Viruses and Bacteria


Possible causes of lupus include genetics, environmental exposures such as insecticides and smoking, hormones, medications, and infections. (Also see Autoimmune Diseases and Overview of Lupus)

Homocysteine (HHcy) serum levels are increased and correlate with disease severity in patients with lupus erythematosus (LE). Hcy levels were higher in patients with different forms of cutaneous LE and correlated with disease activity, therefore HHcy could be related to LE pathogenesis and might be a triggering factor in predisposed individuals. PubMed, Clin Exp Rheumatol, 01/08/2016.

Pathogenesis and prevention of rheumatic disease: focus on preclinical rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). This review focuses on the preclinical stages of RA and SLE, as our current understanding of these diseases can be used to present an overall model of the development of autoimmune rheumatic diseases that might ultimately be used to develop screening programmes and preventive strategies. PubMed, Nat Rev Rheumatol, 2014 Feb 11. (Also see Rheumatoid Arthritis Causes)

Coronin-1A Gene

New Genetic Mutation That Halts The Development Of Lupus Discovered. The lupus-suppressing action is the result of what is known as a nonsense mutation of the Coronin-1A gene (Coro1a) required for the development of the disease. ScienceDaily. 01/17/08.

Environmental Exposures

Household Insecticides May Be Linked to Autoimmune Diseases. New research suggests a link between women's exposure to household insecticides -- including roach and mosquito killers -- and the autoimmune disorders rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Care2 10/30/09. (Also see Rheumatoid Arthritis)


Genome-wide association studies in Sjögren's syndrome (SS): What do the genes tell us about disease pathogenesis? Genetic findings are discussed with particular attention paid to the genes identified, the strength of associations, and how the SS-associated genes compare to what has been discovered previously in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). PubMed, Autoimmun Rev, 2014 Jul;13(7):756-761. (Also see Sjogren's Syndrome)


Autoimmunity and Klinefelter's syndrome: when men have two X chromosomes. These data suggest that risk of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is related to a gene dose effect for the X chromosome. Sawalha AH. (PubMed) J Autoimmun. 2009 Aug;33(1):31-4.


Oral contraceptives are a possible cause of lupus.

Contraception in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus and antiphospholipid syndrome. Contraceptive choice in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is challenging but important. Long-acting forms of contraception such as the progesterone intrauterine device (IUD) or subdermal implant are preferable for most patients. Sage Journals, Lupus, October 2014 vol. 23 no. 12 1242-1245.

Microbes and Diet

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE): Another Autoimmune Disorder Influenced by Microbes and Diet? In this review, the aim is to compile the available evidence on the contributions of diet and gut microbes to SLE occurrence and pathogenesis. PubMed, Front Immunol, 2015 Nov 30;6:608.

Viruses and Bacteria

Correlation between systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and cytomegalovirus infection (CMV) detected by different methods. This data confirmed that the human CMV infection was related to the development of SLE. PubMed, Clin Rheumatol, 2015 Apr;34(4):691-8.

Clinical and Molecular Evidence for Association of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) with parvovirus B19. Parvovirus B19, the cause of Fifth disease in childhood, and possible trigger in the spectrum of autoimmune diseases in adults, has emerged as one of the central viral candidates within the last few years. M. Pavlovic. Lupus June 2010 vol. 19 no. 7 783-792.

Pericarditis and pleuritis associated with human parvovirus B19 (PVB19) infection in a systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patient. Steroids may be one of the choices for severe and/or rapidly progressive symptoms of pericarditis and pleuritis due to PVB19 infection. (SpringerLink) M. Seishima. Modern Rheumatology. July 7 2010. (Also see Lupus and Heart Disease)

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