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Keywords:

  • lupus erythematosus;
  • photosensitivity;
  • apoptosis;
  • TNF α;
  • heat shock protein

The strong association between photosensitivity and lupus erythematosus has led to the suggestion that abnormal photoreactivity participates in the pathogenesis of cutaneous lesions. In this review we discuss the evidence for abnormal cutaneous reactivity to sunlight in lupus and speculate on the cellular, molecular and genetic factors that may underlie this abnormality.