Patients with the autoimmune disorder lupus erythematosus (SLE) exhibit multiple immune system defects.

In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Elizabeth Jury and colleagues at University College London reveal that T cells isolated from SLE patients have altered membrane-associated lipid profiles and exhibit increased lipid trafficking to the membrane and dysfunctional immune responses.

Furthermore, normalization of lipid metabolism in isolated SLE T cells restored membrane lipid levels and immune function.

In an accompanying Commentary, Steven Bensinger and Yoko Kidani of the University of California, Los Angeles discuss how targeting lipid metabolism in SLE patients may help attenuate autoimmunity.

TITLE: Normalizing glycosphingolipids restores function in CD4+ T cells from lupus patients

ACCOMPANYING COMMENTARY TITLE: Lipids rule: resetting lipid metabolism restores T cell function in systemic lupus erythematosus