Environmental pathways to autoimmune diseases

The cases of primary biliary cirrhosis and multiple sclerosis

Carlo Selmi, Anna Maria Papini, Piera Pugliese, Maria Claudia Alcaro, M. Eric Gershwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The pathways leading to autoimmunity remain enigmatic despite numerous lines of experimental inquiry and epidemiological evidence. The mechanisms leading to the initiation and perpetuation of specific diseases such as primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) or multiple sclerosis (MS) remain largely enigmatic, although it is established that a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental stimulation is required. The growing number of genome-wide association studies and the largely incomplete concordance for autoimmune diseases in monozygotic twins concur to support the role of the environment (including infectious agents and chemicals) in the breakdown of tolerance leading to autoimmunity through different mechanisms. In the present article we illustrate the current hypotheses related to an environmental impact on the onset of PBC and MS as two representative conditions investigated with complementary approaches. Indeed, while a role of post-translational antigen modifications has been proposed for MS, this field remain unexplored in PBC where, conversely, most evidence is gathered from geoepidemiology and experimental data on xenobiotics or infectious agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)368-380
Number of pages13
JournalArchives of Medical Science
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2011

Fingerprint

Biliary Liver Cirrhosis
Autoimmune Diseases
Multiple Sclerosis
Autoimmunity
Diseases in Twins
Monozygotic Twins
Genome-Wide Association Study
Xenobiotics
Post Translational Protein Processing
Genetic Predisposition to Disease
Antigens

Keywords

  • Antigen modification
  • Autoantibodies
  • Glycosilation
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Tolerance breakdown

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Environmental pathways to autoimmune diseases : The cases of primary biliary cirrhosis and multiple sclerosis. / Selmi, Carlo; Papini, Anna Maria; Pugliese, Piera; Alcaro, Maria Claudia; Gershwin, M. Eric.

In: Archives of Medical Science, Vol. 7, No. 3, 06.2011, p. 368-380.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Selmi, Carlo ; Papini, Anna Maria ; Pugliese, Piera ; Alcaro, Maria Claudia ; Gershwin, M. Eric. / Environmental pathways to autoimmune diseases : The cases of primary biliary cirrhosis and multiple sclerosis. In: Archives of Medical Science. 2011 ; Vol. 7, No. 3. pp. 368-380.
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