Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by multisystem involvement due to immune dysregulation. Neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus (NPSLE) includes neurological syndromes involving the central, peripheral and autonomic nervous system, as well as psychiatric syndromes observed in patients with SLE in which other causes have been excluded. The pathogenesis of NPSLE has been attributed to many different mechanisms. In particular, autoantibody-mediated vasculopathy seems to play a major role in the pathogenesis of the clinical features. Several autoantibody specificities have been reported in the serum and cerebrospinal fluid of NPSLE patients. Recently, we demonstrated an association between serum antiendothelial antibodies (AECA) and psychosis or depression in SLE patients, strengthening the notion of a possible role of this class of autoantibodies in the pathogenesis of the disease. The study of these autoantibodies could be a useful diagnostic and prognostic tool in patients with NPSLE.
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