Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) can affect various systems and organs. The most severe forms of the disease affect the kidneys, the central nervous system, and the heart. Cardiac and cardiovascular system diseases are inter alia caused by atherosclerosis, vasculitis, and thromboembolic events. Patients with SLE are at a higher risk of developing accelerated atherosclerosis. This process in SLE patients cannot be explained solely based on classical risk factors. Recently, some adipocytokines/adipokines have been indicated in the development of atherosclerosis, inflammation, and immune processes. It has also been postulated that adipokines might regulate the immune response and hence the atherogenic process. In this work, the factors contributing to accelerated atherosclerosis in SLE patients with special respect to vasculitis/vascular injury are presented, and selected adipocytokines, that is leptin, resistin, and adiponectin, with their relation to atherosclerosis and SLE, are under discussion.
Part of the book: Lupus