Heritability versus the role of the environment in autoimmunity

Carlo Selmi, Qianjin Lu, Michael C. Humble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

95 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The higher concordant occurrence of autoimmune diseases in monozygotic twins compared to dizygotic or sibling pairs supports the role for genetic susceptibility. For most conditions, however, concordance rates are considerably below 100% and lead to the estimate of the weight of genetics coined "heritability" In the group of autoimmune diseases heritability ranges between 0.008 and 1 with median values of approximately 0.60. A complementary term coined "environmentability" represents the environmental influence on individual phenotype, and can include dietary habits, chemicals, or hygienic conditions. Genome-wide association data in complex diseases confirmed a role for the environment in disease etiology as significantly associated polymorphisms were found only in subgroups of patients and controls. Environmental links to autoimmunity range from anecdotal associations or case series to largely investigated experimental and epidemiological studies. A bibliographic analysis reveals that the number of publications dedicated to environmental factors in autoimmunity has grown on average by 7% every year since 1997. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) convened an expert panel workshop to review the body of literature examining the role of the environment in the development of autoimmune disease and to identify conclusions, confidences, and critical knowledge gaps in this area. The results of the workshop discussion are summarized in the articles found in this issue of the Journal of Autoimmunity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-252
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Autoimmunity
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2012

Fingerprint

Autoimmunity
Autoimmune Diseases
Diseases in Twins
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (U.S.)
Education
Monozygotic Twins
Feeding Behavior
Genetic Predisposition to Disease
Publications
Siblings
Epidemiologic Studies
Genome
Phenotype
Weights and Measures

Keywords

  • Environment
  • Exposure
  • Familiarity
  • Monozygotic twins
  • Tolerance breakdown

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy

Cite this

Heritability versus the role of the environment in autoimmunity. / Selmi, Carlo; Lu, Qianjin; Humble, Michael C.

In: Journal of Autoimmunity, Vol. 39, No. 4, 12.2012, p. 249-252.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Selmi, Carlo ; Lu, Qianjin ; Humble, Michael C. / Heritability versus the role of the environment in autoimmunity. In: Journal of Autoimmunity. 2012 ; Vol. 39, No. 4. pp. 249-252.
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