Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is one of the most diverse autoimmune diseases, regarding clinical manifestations and therapeutic management. Visceral involvement is often and is generally associated with increased mortality and/or permanent disability. Thus, a reliable assessment of disease activity is required in order to follow‐up disease activity and apply appropriate therapy. Several serological indexes have been studied due to their competence in assessing disease activity in SLE. Apart from conventional and currently assessed serological indexes, regulatory T cells (Tregs), a CD4+ cellular population of the acquired immune compartment with homeostatic phenotype, are currently under intense investigation in SLE. In this chapter, Tregs ontogenesis and subpopulations are discussed focusing on their implications in immunopathophysiology of SLE. The authors present data indicating that this CD4+ population is highly associated with disease activity and response to treatment, concluding that Tregs are a promising biomarker in SLE. Future prospective includes Tregs implication in SLE therapeutic interventions.
Part of the book: Lupus