Sjögren's syndrome (SS) is a chronic autoimmune disorder that typically affects exocrine glands—mainly labial and lacrimal—leading to complaints of dry mouth and eyes. Given that periepithelial mononuclear cell infiltrates, both in exocrine glands and in other parenchymal organs (kidney, lung, and liver), are the histopathological disease hallmark, the term autoimmune epithelitis has been proposed. B cell hyperactivity is another cardinal SS feature manifested by the presence of autoantibodies and hypergammaglobulinemia, as well as clinical/serological phenotypes mediated by immune complexes, such as peripheral neuropathy, vasculitic lesions, and hypocomplementemia. These have been designated adverse predictors for lymphoma development in approximately 5% to 10% of patients. Activation of the type I interferon/B cell–activating factor axis in SS has recently attracted particular attention. Inappropriate overexpression of endogenous nucleic acids in a genetically susceptible individual might provide a plausible scenario for the immune activation observed in SS.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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